At an individual level, Jhulan Goswami has built herself a dream career. During her decade-and-a-half long career so far, the veteran pacer has become the highest wicket-taker in ODI history, won the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year award in 2007, was bestowed with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2010 and then the Padma Shri, a couple of years later.

At her peak, she was one of the fastest women pacers at the international level.

Despite such an illustrious career, for Jhulan, lifting the world cup trophy remains the biggest dream. She came close to achieving that in 2017 but will get another shot come 2021.

In an exclusive interview with india.com, the humble and down-to-earth pacer speaks of her World Cup dream, women’s IPL, coping with the coronavirus pandemic and her biopic.

How are you managing your fitness regime during the pandemic?

It is difficult, but one has to look at the positives. I have been following the guidelines issued by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). Not just me, everyone is facing problems. But I am trying my best to stay fit with whatever I have at my disposal. It may not be as effective as going to the gym, but this is good enough. All these years, because of frantic travelling, I barely got any time to spend time with my family and loved ones, now I am making up for all that.

Do you think the Women’s IPL will ever happen?

Yes, with Sourav Ganguly at the helm of BCCI, I am hopeful. If not immediately, then over the next couple of seasons, it should start. However, these days there are Super Challenger games held during the IPL, so things are looking up in the right direction.

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What about fast bowlers, apart from you and Shikha Pandey, there is hardly anyone of good recognition? Where are we lacking?

That is not the case – we have promising pacers, but again, they need proper infrastructure, regular camps, and sound guidance. Also, fast bowlers are not born overnight, it is a process and I am hopeful in the near future we will have a pool of seven to eight pacers, who can fit into the XI anytime we need them.

Your views on implementing Hotspot, and other technology in women’s bilateral ties.

In ICC tournaments – it is already in use and with time, I am sure even in bilateral ties there will be the use of technology. And it will not take long, I feel it will happen soon and would be a positive introduction to the women’s game.

Your reaction to the saliva ban in the post COVID19 world…

Again, one cannot crib – it is a new challenge and one should look at it in that fashion. Of course, the sweat will not have the same impact on the ball, as saliva would, but bowlers should look at this challenge in a positive way.

Difference between the leadership of Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur…

It is not right to compare – as both are successful leaders and have different styles of operating – which is great. Harman has a long way to go and more success awaits her.

Your take on teen sensation Shafali Verma.

Have not interacted much with her, but according to what I have seen, she has immense power and needs proper guidance and could be the next big thing in Indian cricket.

With the WC around the corner, where does India stand?

I am extremely positive and keep dreaming of lifting the crown. We have a strong team and there should be no reason why we should not win it. In the last three seasons, we have done well in ICC tournaments and now the coveted trophy would be the icing on the cake.

How long do you hope to keep playing?

I am still young, have never thought of retiring. I am enjoying the game and would keep continuing. At heart, I am 27 or maybe the little ball girl with a dream. Will continue playing till I am enjoying the challenge in the middle and hopefully my body will permit me to do what my heart wants.

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Image: Instagram

And your biopic around the corner where Anushka Sharma plays your role…

It is a different feeling altogether – where I feel excited and happy and a little nervous. I am really looking forward to watching Anushka play me in reel life. I am sure she will do justice to the role.