She is smart, she is stylish! Meet Anjum Chopra, the most elegant batswoman India
has ever produced
An Arjuna Awardee, Anjum Chopra has played several good innings
for the country in her 12 Tests and 121 ODIs. The gorgeous player is
probably known more for her crisp views as a cricket expert on television shows
than her stylish stroke play as a batswoman, and those who have seen her bat, swear
that she is the most wonderful batswoman of the country.
She has maintained that elegance and held on to her own in the presence of top cricketers
on the tube, often making a subtle point that others are forced to agree with. The
multitalented ex-captain who holds an MBA has also co-authored a book on women’s
cricket, tells Urmila Rao that she plans to achieve much more.
Q: Why did you decide to get into cricket and
take it up as a profession? How did your parents and friends react to your choice?
A: Yes. For woman sports, challenges are galore
in Indian sports. Starting from the mindset, to equipment and then to the discrimination
at all levels. But everything comes to a naught, when you don the Indian jersey,
the official blazer and lead your team into historic victories. The culmination
is when you are rewarded with the most prestigious sports award in India at the
Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan. By the grace of God I have been lucky to have
experienced this cycle as a player.
Q: As a woman cricketer, did you have to face
any challenges professionally and personally?
A: I belong to a family of sports people. My maternal
grandfather was a Commonwealth, Asian Games athlete and a cricket commentator, my
maternal uncle played first class cricket till the India ‘A’ level. My brother has
also played cricket for Delhi, under 17 & 19, my dad is a golfer and my mom, a car
rallyist. She won the Goodyear car rally in 1984-85. So sports was a natural choice
for me, a way of life. My parents always supported me and do so even today in all
my sporting endeavours.
Q: You hold an MBA qualification. What did you
have in mind when you were adding MBA to your academic achievement?
A: Education and sports are equally important
to me. Sports gives you respect, high and social standing but it all boils down
to professional skill sets that one possesses, because, once playing days are over
you would end up making that strategy presentation, sales pitch and what not... Besides,
having idols like Rahul Dravid and Kumble it always helps, as they are pretty well
Q: Which teacher/professor do you remember the
most and why?
A: My school sports teacher who is now the principal
of the school as well. He is Dr. D. R. Saini, principal Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram.
He helped in inculcating a sports culture in highly education-dominated environment.
He kept that balance for sports persons like me and encouraged at all given times
to play the game. He reminded us that studies are a must but sports are not to be
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: Well, I don’t have any. I am what I am because
of the support of my parents, family
Q: What message do you have girls who want to
make a career in cricket?
A: Well, I always tell young kids that they should
make sports as a way of life. A career or no - career is a different decision that
one takes but to play a sport is always good as it is a great leveller. It teaches
us all that we read in books. And more. I would also like to say to those budding
sports people that if you are passionate about the game, go out and play it - regardless
of the fact whether that fetches you fame, money or not. If you like the game –
Courtesy: Yahoo Campus