‘World Cup 2022 is the goal now’ – Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan Goswami, the highest wicket-taker in women’s ODIs, wants to have another crack at cricket’s biggest prize – the World Cup – but the postponement by a year means she plans to re-assess her goals on a series-to-series basis.

On Friday, the ICC announced the decision to postpone next year’s 50-over World Cup to February-March 2022 – after a number of teams raised concerns over lack of preparation time owing to Covid-19.

“Yes, 2022 is the goal now but you have to be part of the process and play matches consistently and perform and then you can think about the World Cup because there is a lot of time left and it is not round the corner anymore,” she told PTI.

“We have got a lot of time for preparation, almost 18 months, but on the other hand, it would have been good if it happened next year as I was focused on that for long. Now you will need to think beyond that. At this time, I can only think about the next series and performing in it and start from zero. I can’t tell you what may happen between now and 2022 as it is still far way.”

While the change in schedule could hamper her approach, Goswami was in agreement with ICC’s decision looking at the bigger picture. “With the current Covid-19 situation, the preparation was held up,” she said. “If you are going to the World Cup you have to be prepared. You have lot of things going in the mind, combinations and ideas and you need time to try them.

“On that front, we will get enough time to prepare but if Covid-19 hadn’t happened, we would have played the World Cup timely and it would have been better for us.. Having said that, we respect the decision taken by the authorities. It would have not been easy to create a bio-bubble for eight teams, hopefully there will be a vaccine soon.”

Goswami, who will be 39 by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, has retired from T20Is. She last played an ODI in November 2019, and, like most others, has been forced to restrict her training to indoors over the last four or five months. With the T20 Challenge announced by the BCCI, to run alongside the IPL playoffs in November, Goswami is eager to start bowling again.

“At this moment, it is about getting access to the ground, hopefully we will have a camp in September before the Women”s T20 Challenge, which is the next assignment we have,” she said. “I have not been bowling at all. It is difficult in my surroundings as I live in a colony. I have been regular with fitness. Plus, the monsoons are also here and the ground is not available.”

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