She broke numerous barriers and rose like a star. Her aura, truly bright and her spirit, unbreakable. Cricket has always been a male-dominated game. Today, our women cricketers are slowly and steadily breaking that perception. But there was one female, who truly started this tradition. From her limitless talent in the field to her confidence outside, she has always been an inspiration to Indian women. We are talking about none other than Indian cricketer, commentator, author, motivational speaker, and a businesswomen – Anjum Chopra!
Date of Birth
20 May 1977
New Delhi, India
Sudha Shah, Tarak Sinha, Hardeep Dua, and Sunita Sharma
Krishnan Bal Chopra and Poonam Chopra
17 November 1995
12 February 1995
T 20 Debut
16 March 2012
Teams Played for
India, Air India Women
Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram | St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University | FORE School of Management
Anjum Chopra Biography
Anjum has always been an all-round sportswoman. She started playing cricket at a very early age. She was also a part of Delhi State basketball team, represented her school, as well as college in swimming, athletics, and basketball. Perhaps the main inclination for this was her family background. Almost every member of Anjum’s family has actively been associated with sports. No doubt where her inclination towards sports comes from! Her cricketing journey started during her school, where she played at state-level.
After Anjum Chopra started working for Air India, she represented them for domestic matches. She led the Delhi team in the National championship 2012. Under her leadership, the women’s team won its first national cricket championship. Air India team also won 2002 and 2003 nationals and zonal tournaments. In 2003, Air India team was declared as the “Best Team of the Year.”
Anjum’s international career began at the age of 17. She made her debut against New Zealand in 1995. In 1999, she made a century during India’s tour of England. Anjum soon became one of the best Indian batswomen. She was also a talented medium pace bowler. Her swiftness in the field made her a superb fielder as well. No wonder then that soon she began a premier Indian cricketer.
By the year 2000, she had become the Vice-Captain of the Indian team. At the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, she was the highest Indian scorer. She won the player of the match award twice.
In the year in 2002, she became the captain of the Indian women’s team. Under her leadership, the team went on to win numerous accolades. Visiting England team was royally sent back with a white wash, in spite of 7 debutants in the team. India won the test match series in South Africa in ’02. She guided the team to the World Cup finals in 2005. She served her country in the international cricket for 4 more years. Chopra hanged her boots in 2009.
Anjum Chopra- The Torch Bearer of Indian Women’s Cricket
Anjum brought lot of fame and recognition to the Indian women’s team. Her leadership skills were appreciated by her teammates. Even after retirement from cricket, she has continued her involvement in the field. She also continuously supported various initiatives taken to promote women’s cricket.
Anjum will always be remembered as an all-rounder who could bat at any required position. She was known for the quick ones and twos and eventually made a lot of difference to the match. Her stance on the field has been described as lazy elegance by many. However, she was one of the fittest members of the team and super swift in the field. She has opened for her team numerous times and performed even better under pressure.
Anjum made her international debut at the age of 17 and went on to have super successful cricketing career. She played in 12 Tests, 127 ODIs and 18 T20s. Anjum aggregated 548 runs in Tests and 2,856 runs in ODIs.
Anjum Chopra married a Delhi-based IAS officer and began another exciting phase of her life.
The second innings of Anjum’s career has been equally exciting. Armed with her MBA, Anjum has established herself as a corporate and motivational speaker. She has conducted training sessions at numerous organizations such as Vodafone, Goldman Sachs, etc.
Interesting Facts about Anjum Chopra
- Gates No. 3 and No. 4 at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi are named after Anjum Chopra.
- “Delhi has produced several illustrious cricketers and it’s a great honour to be considered (by DDCA) as one of them. Kotla has changed a lot over the years and it is a humbling honour to have my name at the entrance gates,” she was quoted by ICC in an interview after the unveiling ceremony.
- Anjum is a self-confessed pet lover. She loves to relax by playing with her pet dogs.
- Anjum is also a published author. She has co-authored the book, “Women’s Cricket World – A Journey from 1745 – 2013.” She has written about the history of cricket from the global perspective in the book.
- Anjum has been fearless on and off the field as well! She has participated in the reality show Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 4.
- Her versatility has no limits. Anjum has acted in a docudrama, Poor Cousins of Million Dollar Babies, which won lot of appreciation at the Arnold Sports Film Festival held in Ohio.
Also Read | The inspiring tale of Jhulan Goswami
- Anjum has always tried to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s cricket. She has walked the ramp at several fashion shows to promote this cause.
- Her connection with sports is never going waver. Anjum is currently enjoying a stint as a sports commentator and analyst. She has worked with Doordarshan and Sony Six. She was a commentator for the 2014 World Kabaddi League.
- Anjum is the first Indian woman cricketer to be awarded an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
- Anjum has advocated mixed game of cricket (both men and women playing together). She has practiced with the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders as well.
- Anjum has served in an advisory role with the South African cricket board prior to World Cup 2011. She also raised breast cancer awareness in South Africa as a Goodwill Ambassador.
- “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.” She told The Hindu.
- Padma Shri, 2014
- Arjuna Award, 2007
- Rajiv Gandhi Delhi State Award, 2004
- ICC Player of the Match, 2000, 2005, 2009
- Zee Astitva Award – Award for Exemplary Women, 2008
- FICCI – YFLO – Young Women Achievers Award, 2009
- Honorary Membership of Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, 2016
- First Indian Women cricketer to hit an ODI century
- First Indian Women’s captain to have won a Test Series overseas
- 1st Indian Women’s captain to have won a home series (which was a 5–0 whitewash triumph over England in India in 2002)
- First cricketer to compete in over 100 WODIs for India
- First player to take part in 6 World Cups for India (four ODI World Cups and two T20s)
- Only player in modern-day cricket to have played 12 Test matches with ODI and T20s
- First player to get an international appointment
- First female player and sportscaster to feature as a commentator in men’s cricket matches
Batting and Fielding Averages
Family Background of Anjum Chopra
Anjum Chopra’s father, Krishnan Bal Chopra is a golfer, and her mother, Poonam Chopra has participated and won car rallies. Even her maternal grandfather, Ved Prakash Sahni represented the country in athletics. Anjum’s brother, Nirvan Chopra is also a former state-level cricketer. Her maternal uncle, Rohit Sahni played cricket in school and college. In fact, he was the captain of his college team. Phew, truly a sporting family, isn’t it?!
She started training at the Sonnet Club under the guidance of Tarak Sinha. He played a huge role in shaping Anjum’s career. Anjum has remembered her coaches in numerous interviews. She was quoted by the Hindu, “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.”
Social Media: Anjum Chopra
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 13, 2019
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 12, 2019
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 12, 2019
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 8, 2019
View this post on Instagram
Remembering the ‘hockey wizard’ #MajorDhyanChand on India’s #NationalSportsDay. A special day for sportsperson in #India earning their sporting honours. #Throwback #2007 – Honoured with #ArjunaAward #Cricket #President #bccicricket #rashtrapatibhavan?? Happy National Sports Day to everyone! ?
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 6, 2019
We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot to be done before we see a day when men’s & women’s cricket are seen equally. Let’s get behind the change that @RCGameForLife are bringing along with the mixed gender T20 match by voting at https://t.co/EDdSyGWkRE. #ChallengeAccepted pic.twitter.com/P4nk4sRS1x
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) April 30, 2019