Retired from all formats of the game after a glorious two-decade-long international career, legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami on Sunday hoped that she had been successful in inspiring the next generation of players in India and the world to play the "beautiful game".
The 39-year-old Goswami was on Saturday handed a fairy-tale ending to her illustrious career as India Women beat England by 16 runs in the third and final ODI at the Lord's to record their first clean sweep on English soil.
"I have always been honest as a cricketer and hope, I have been able to contribute to the growth of women's cricket in India and the world. I hope I have been successful in inspiring the next generation of girls to play this beautiful game," Goswami wrote on a farewell note posted on her social media handle.
"To my cricket family and beyond. So, the day has finally arrived! Like every journey has an end, my cricket journey of over 20 years ends today as I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket."
One of the greatest fast bowlers to have ever played the game, Goswami left the scene as women cricket's highest wicket-taker, having started her journey way back in 2002. She finished with 44 wickets in 12 Tests, 255 wickets in 204 ODIs and 56 wickets in 68 T20Is.
"As Ernest Hemingway said, 'it's good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end'. For me, this journey has been the most satisfying. It has been exhilarating, thrilling to say the least, adventurous," Goswami wrote.
"I have had the honour of donning the India jersey for over two decades and serving my country at the best of my abilities. There is a sense of pride every time I hear the National Anthem before a match.
"I have cherished every moment of the last 20 years of my life as an international cricketer with my teammates on and off the field. I have always loved you cricket and even as I retire as a professional player, I will never be too far away from you."
She played in five ICC Women’s World Cups including in 2005 and 2017, when India made the finals. Goswami also turned out in five ICC Women’s T20 World Cups. "Ever since watching the Women's World Cup final at Eden Gardens back in 1997, it was my dream to play for India, and I am thankful to the BCCI, CAB, WCAI and Air India officials for reposing faith in me and giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream," she wrote.
"I want to thank NCA for taking care of my injuries and keeping me fit as fiddle over the years. I am grateful to all the coaches, trainers, physios, and ground staff who have been an integral part of this journey. A huge shout out to all the captains I have played under. Their faith in my abilities helped build my confidence.
"I want to take a moment to thank my family (my parents, siblings) who stood by me in every situation. Not to forget my friends, who have been my best critics and biggest supporters. Last but not the least, I want to thank my childhood coach for having backed me in my endeavour."