Anjum Chopra on the journey to her Padma Shri
Anjum Chopra is one of the most successful Indian women cricketers with a career that spans 17 years and 4 world cups. A prolific batsman (the 8th highest run scorer internationally in ODIs,) she also captained India in 2006.
Anjum Chopra was conferred the prestigious Padma Shree award for her contribution to sport just yesterday, dedicated her award to the game and the women’s cricketing fraternity. In an exclusive chat with Mithila Mehta of RCB Diva, she describes her journey.
Tell us about your professional journey and career as a cricketer?
I liked playing the sport since childhood. I took to it professionally when realized there was an Indian team also of the women’s game that I could be a part of. There have been many highlights in my career, but the biggest and proudest moment for me was wearing the India blazer and representing Indian team on an international platform.
Did you constantly feel the need to ‘prove yourself’ as cricket is a male dominated game – or was that never a concern?
No, not really. Once you play international sport you have to keep the bar of performance high and keep raising it. It’s not about proving anything to anyone except yourself.
What are you views on the state of women’s cricket in India today and the progress you have seen over the years? What impetus is necessary?
The state of women’s cricket is definitely improving, especially since when I first learned about the women’s game. Now, with BCCI at the helm handling the women’s game in India, the road and journey looks brighter. In my opinion, the impetus lies in playing more international tournaments. The girls need to win consistently at the highest level. Of course, a world cup victory would be ideal to push the sport into focus!
How does the state of women’s cricket in India compare to other cricket-playing countries?
Other countries are improving and have improved in all aspects of the game better than Indian team. The sport has grown especially with ICC support, the T20 world cups played simultaneously and women matches being televised too
For a young girl looking to pursue a career as a professional cricketer – what is your advice?
Play the sport and the career path will be shown at each step. The initial first step needs to be taken first.
Who is your favourite RCB player this season?
My favourite RCB player this season is AB de Villiers. I would like to wish Team RCB good luck for the tournament!
Photo credits:- The Hindu