Text: Harish Kotian
India is not renowned for producing fast bowlers, so it was surprising when a fast bowler from the women's team was named the best player in the world.
23-year-old Jhulan Goswami stunned the world of cricket when she bagged the ICC Women's Player of the Year at the awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Monday.
"I was shocked to get the award; it was really unexpected as far as I was concerned. For me, just being nominated was amazing, but to get the award was special," she told rediff.com from South Africa.
Her surprise is surprising -- she is regularly clocked at around the 135 kmph range, and occasionally hits 138 kmph, making her in terms of pace the equal, or better, of Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, or even international stars such as Mohammad Asif, James Anderson, Shaun Pollock and such.
Goswami, by some distance the fastest bowler in the women's game, became the first player from India to win the women's award. In a gala function attended by all top cricketers, past and present, the Bengal pacer received the award from India's Twenty20 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"It is a rare moment in one's career to get the ICC award. I felt proud to be amongst the world's best cricketers at that function. There were so many legends present, and I felt really great," she said.
The lanky Bengal pacer pipped Australia's Lisa Sthalekar and England's Claire Taylor to the coveted title.
Jhulan, Ponting tops!
Photographs: Getty Images