Interview with Anjum Chopra
Calling Anjum Chopra a legend of Indian cricket would probably be an understatement. This former left-handed batswoman, who had 12 Tests and 116 ODIs under her belt, was the very personification of elegance.
Her classical strokeplay and effortless timing helped her become one of the most prolific players not just in India, but the whole world. Currently working as a presenter, Chopra spoke with Taruka Srivastava about her cricketing experiences.
1. How hard is it making a break in the world of cricket?
I would say it is extremely hard. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifices; any player who does make it deserves a lot of cricket for getting there.
2. Do you think that cricket can still be called a gentleman's game?
Not if women are also playing the game. Not many know that cricket was played by women way back in 1745. When women started playing cricket, the men only watched them play. It was only later that the men's game developed so greatly.
3. Do you follow the IPL? Which team do you support?
Yes I certainly do watch the IPL. And I support all teams; I just like watching a good game of cricket!
4. Do you think a tournament like the IPL would work for Indian women cricketers too?
Why not? Women's cricket has the potential to go places, and I am sure an IPL-style tournament for women would be very exciting.
5. What do you think of RCB? Who are your favourite RCB players?
I think RCB is a balanced side and has several world class players. My favourite RCB player would have to be AB De Villiers!
6. RCB has started a site called 'RCB Divas' dedicated to women fans and players. What are your views on it?
I think it’s a nice initiative. Starting something like this just goes to prove that female following is important for the spread of the game.
7. A lot of men think women don't understand cricket. What do you have to say about that?
I feel that's an individual opinion. I personally understand cricket very well, as you'd expect, and I know tons of other women who understand it too.
8. Do you think lack of popularity for women's cricket is restricted to India, or is it an global problem? Do you think the ICC is doing enough for the growth of women's cricket?
Although I think the ICC can do more, I am happy with the progress so far. And yes, they have great plans for the development of women's cricket; let's wait and watch.
9. This IPL has seen the presence of a lot of female TV anchors and presenters. Do you think that is one of the ways that interest in the game can be generated among women?
Maybe, but I believe the thing of paramount importance is to have good presenters. Differentiating between male and female presenters is narrow-minded. A presenter is a presenter, period.
10. The female presenters have also received a bit of criticism for perhaps not being as well-versed with the game as their male counterparts. Do you think that is a valid criticism?
As I said – a presenter needs to be good; whether male or female is just a gender thing. If someone is handling a show, he or she needs to know the subject.
11. Who is your favourite male cricketer?
12. Which is your favourite shot?
13. If there was one bowler from any point in cricket history, male or female, whom you would have loved to bat against, who would that bowler be?
It has to be Waqar Younis. He was a great bowler!
14. What is your message to young girls in India who want to grow up to be cricketers?
My message is simple: Follow your passion and work hard to achieve it!
Image Courtesy: espncricinfo.com