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Women's Cricket

Jhulan Goswami open to returning for Women's IPL

India's senior pros Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj called time on their careers in 2022, but are both open to playing in the WIPL in March this year.

Jhulan Goswami open to returning for Womens IPL

Jhulan Goswami called time on her international career in September 2022. (BCCI)


Dipankar Lahiri

Published: 16 Jan 2023 6:15 AM GMT

Amidst increasing anticipation around the inaugural women's IPL (WIPL) in March 2023, India's senior pros Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj have said they are both open to returning from retirement to play in the marquee event.

"I am still waiting for the official announcement from the BCCI announcing the teams and the call for players to enter the auction. My training continues, the time to comment whether I will be ready to be at sufficient fitness levels can only be made a few days later," Goswami told The Bridge on Monday morning, nine days before the BCCI is slated to name the five teams who will be part of the first WIPL season.

This is a change of stance from Goswami from three months ago, when she had indicated at a media event that she was done playing all forms of cricket.

"Enough of long strides in the last 20 years, I have done more than 20 lakh strides probably... But (WIPL) is a good thing for women's cricket. We have all been looking forward to this for 5-6 years," she had said.

The bidding process for the five WIPL teams has already started. The five winning bids are slated to be announced on January 25.

The five teams are slated to be formed in February through an auction process, according to reports. The five teams will be required to pick 18-member squads, with a maximum of six overseas players. Players will be categorised as capped and uncapped.

READ | Jhulan Goswami's hometown remembers the girl who did it all by herself

"The players have been asked to enter their names into the auction pool by February. If players like Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj - two of the most recognisable names in Indian women's cricket - can play in the WIPL, the profile of the league will benefit. The formalities for how the players will be categorised in the auction can only be finalised once we have all the names," a BCCI official commented.

The bowling spearhead for India for two decades, Jhulan Goswami's last appearance came in the away series against England in September 2022. Since then, she has returned to her hometown in Chakdaha in West Bengal and was also present for the conclusion of the shoot for the Bollywood film being made on her life, 'Chakda 'Xpress', a few days ago.

Her long-time teammate Mithali Raj had also expressed interest in coming out of retirement for the WIPL earlier.

"It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women's IPL," she had said on a podcast in July last year, after hanging up her India boots after the ODI World Cup.

The women's IPL is expected to start on March 5 and go on for around three weeks. It appears that the biggest names in Indian women's cricket in the 21st century will be part of the landmark event.

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