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September 10, 2007
Jhulan Goswami has become the first player from India to take the ICC Women's Player of the Year award. She was presented with the trophy at the ICC Awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Goswami was also India's only representative in the individual player awards, with no representation from the men in the shortlist. She edged out Australia's Lisa Sthalekar and England's Claire Taylor.
"It's a dream come true for me," she said on accepting the award from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fresh from the Lord's ODI on Saturday. "I am very excited to win this award. It is very unexpected because the other candidates are great players. It is very special for me".
The title was just reward for her bowling average of 12.40 in Tests and 21.80 in ODIs and, since Australia's Cathryn Fitzpatrick retired earlier this year, Goswami has also become the fastest female bowler in the world. She may have pace, but she has the accuracy to match, with an economy rate of 2.10 in Tests and 3.17 in ODIs.
England certainly know a thing or two about her pace, after they succumbed to her in the second Test last year; she took ten wickets to take India to their first Test series win on English soil. She also put on her highest score of 69 in the first Test.
It's been a good year for India women's cricket in terms of recognition. Last month Anjum Chopra won the coveted Arjuna award - a rare honour for a female player. Now Goswami joins her in being feted.
"This award does a lot for women's cricket," said Goswami. "I think women's cricket is growing, slowly. We are getting more and more coverage now in the media and that can only be a good thing for game as it encourages more girls to take up the game and improves the overall levels of performance."
Goswami is the second winner of the award after Karen Rolton won the prize last year.
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