Indian pace great Jhulan Goswami on Sunday shared a retirement note saying that even as she retires as a professional player, she will never be too far away from cricket. As India finished a clean sweep against England with a 16-run win in the third ODI at Lord’s, the 39-year-old competed in her final international game, bringing an end to a two-decade long career on Saturday.

Jhulan retired from international cricket having played 12 Tests, 204 ODIs and 68 T20Is picking 355 wickets across formats for India. In her final outing, she recorded two wickets, bringing her total to 255 in ODIs, the greatest by a female player.

Here’s her statement:

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. As Ernest Hemingway said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; 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. 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.

Cricket has given me several gifts over the years, the greatest and the best without doubt, has been the people I have met along this journey. The friends I made, my competitors, teammates, the journalists I interacted with, match officials, board administrators and people who loved watching me play.

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.

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 (Board of Control For Cricket In India), CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal), Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) and Air India officials for reposing faith in me and giving me the opportunity to fulfil my dream.

I want to thank the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for taking care of my injuries and keeping me fit as a 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.

I also want to express my gratitude towards my fans, journalists, broadcasters for backing me and giving wings to women’s cricket.

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.

Thank you,

Jhulan Goswami

Also read:

Jhulan Goswami: The pacer with a big heart, a guardian angel, a giant who towered over the rest

Watch: Jhulan Goswami retires – Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Rohit Sharma pay tribute

Reactions as Jhulan Goswami retires at Lord’s: ‘The Indian jersey will miss you’, ‘An inspiration’

Jhulan Goswami retirement: ‘Singing national anthem, wearing India jersey was the ultimate feeling’