Cricket

Anjum, India’s first woman to get MCC membership

Anjum Chopra. File photo: R.V. Moorthy

Anjum Chopra. File photo: R.V. Moorthy  

Anjum Chopra becomes the first woman cricketer from India to be awarded an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were recently awarded the MCC memberships too.

A former India captain and recipient of the Padma Shri in 2014, Anjum was thrilled to share the communication from the MCC. “It is actually an honour for women’s cricket in India. My journey had begun with a trip to the National Stadium as a schoolgirl and I am delighted to be the first woman player from India to receive the prestigious MCC membership,” said Anjum on Tuesday. Having made her international debut at 17, Anjum went on to play 12 Tests, 127 ODIs and 18 T20s. A left-hander, Anjum aggregated 548 runs in Tests, 2,856 runs in ODIs, which included a century against England at Northampton in 1999.

The MCC, while announcing her membership, said, “Since her retirement as a player in 2012, her voice has become familiar to millions across the world in her current role as a commentator on the Indian Premier League (IPL).”

Anjum, who was honoured alongside Sehwag, was the first Indian woman to hit an international century.

“I am really humbled to be among an august gathering of some of the finest players the game has seen,” said Anjum.

She has found a place among the commentators of the game. “To share the stage with the great Sunil Gavaskar was like a dream come true. I learn from every commentary stint. It helps me stay in touch with the game in some way.”

An Arjuna awardee in 2007, Anjum led India to a rare Test series win against South Africa in 2002. “It was a huge boost to our image,” said Anjum.

In recognition of her cricketing merits, Cricket South Africa had appointed her the Technical Consultant of its national women’s team for the 2012-13 season.

“It was an education for me to work away from home. It gave me a new perspective, too, and I enjoyed my experience of working with the South Africans.”

Cricket analyst

Assignments as a cricket analyst on television keep the 39-year-old Anjum busy during the season.

“I played for 17 years and the experience helps me hugely when I am asked to analyse the game.

“I consider myself a student of the game,” said Anjum, who is also a motivational speaker and has conducted training programmes for many globally recognised brands.

For Anjum, the lessons learnt at the Sonnet Club, under coach Tarak Sinha’s guidance, have been the biggest factor in her cricket journey.

“I learnt to be disciplined, competitive and grounded in behaviour at the Sonnet Club. On such moments I remember my cricket guru and all my coaches,” said Anjum.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:04:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Anjum-India%E2%80%99s-first-woman-to-get-MCC-membership/article14626534.ece

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