Jhulan Goswami, a legendary cricketer who will retire from the game next month, sought to illustrate the challenges female sportsmen face while they are menstruating during a tournament. The fast bowler, who currently holds the record for most ODI wickets in women’s cricket, also recounted her experiences on multiple instances of facing the agony in silence and being unable to communicate it to the coach. She also called for greater scientific study to determine how menstruation affects female athletes.

Goswami expressed her opinions during a discussion with former India women’s cricket team coach WV Raman on his YouTube-hosted chat program Wednesdays with WV. “When I was younger, I was unable to bring up this subject. I would just keep it to myself, keep coaches in the dark, and silently push through it. People should do a thorough study, since there is a lot of information available, to determine if there is a method to make adjustments throughout those menstrual cycles while competing. The hardest aspect for a female athlete is this. It becomes really difficult to focus on your work if it [periods] occur during a competition; you must be psychologically very strong. You may be unable to focus or offer more at such a moment, and others are unaware of it. They begin by asking, “Are you there, isko kya ho gaya?” But nobody is aware of the history. They are unique because they deal with a problem that all female athletes do, Goswami told Raman.

The senior bowler also praised the perseverance of girls, who push through discomfort to play at the top level. “It’s one thing to have physical aches and pains, but it’s difficult to deal with that level of anguish and physical changes. It’s difficult on match days, and it takes a lot of fortitude to leave that circumstance. It takes a lot of work to play cricket for six hours. All the females who underwent such obstacles deserve a lot of praise. We are unable to accommodate your desire to relax in a room. We cannot go to sleep. Since it’s a crucial game, we must stay outside for six hours. We cannot just sit and make excuses. We acknowledge that it is natural and make preparations accordingly. You can’t make a justification for it, and that is our female athletes’ attractiveness, Goswami remarked.