In the late 90s, Women’s cricket in India was not as popular as now. Despite being the neglected child of the house, women cricket continued to thrive with each passing day. There are very few cricketers who came across in this growth and Anjum Chopra was one of them.
Anjum Chopra, an elegant left-hand opener made her debut in February 1995 against New Zealand in India’s tour o New Zealand. She was sent down the order and managed to score only 15 runs in 3 outings while remained not out twice. She was promoted up the order in the home series against England. And Anjum showed her class while scoring two unbeaten half-centuries in that series. She was awarded player of the series for her contribution
She completed her 1st and only century against England in 1999 in which Indian went on to beat mighty England by 86 runs. Anjum Chopra made her test debut in November 1995 and was sent as a night watchman in her very first test against England and she lived up to her coach’s expectation while remaining there in the crease till the lunch next day and scored 27 runs.
Anjum was elected as the vice-captain of the side that went to play the 2000 Cricket World cup and apart from her responsibilities, she was the highest scorer for India in that series. She was given the role to lead a test side in South Africa in 2002. And Anjum, became the first captain to win a test in overseas for India. Her gritty 80 help India to win the test match. Apart from that, she went on to whitewash the English side that was travelling India with a bunch full of youngsters.
Both in 2005 and 2009 World Cup India performed reasonably well and Anjum Chopra played an instrumental role in both the tournaments. In 2005 while chasing a total of 140 against England in World Cup India was reduced to 35/3. But Rumeli Dhar and Anjum Chopra made a partnership of unbeaten 106 for the 4th wicket to clinch the victory.
Anjum Chopra had played 4 One Day World Cups and 2 T-20 World Cups before bidding adieu to international cricket in 2012. She holds several records including the first Indian cricketer to play 100 ODI’s. She has scored 3845 runs across the format with 1 century and 22 half-centuries She is the 8th highest run-getter in Women ODI. Most of the time in her career she has played for Air India while won the Inter-State Senior T-20 Trophy for Delhi in 2012.
Anjum Chopra, the cricketer turned commentator has also completed her MBA and received Arjuna Award in 2006 and Padmashree in 2014. The first Indian women cricketer to get the honorary membership of Marylebone Cricket Club in 2016, Anjum Chopra was borne on this day in 1977. She turns 43 today.
Happy Birthday to her.