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Anjum praises Assam, wants more girls to play

Guwahati, Sept. 4: If women’s cricket needs to prosper in the country, more matches for the players hold the key to success, feels former Indian women’s team skipper and Arjuna awardee Anjum Chopra.

Attending the 31st edition of Abhiruchi Sports Day as the chief guest here yesterday, the former Indian skipper spoke on a number of aspects of the game and also praised the Assam women’s team for its consistent performance over the last few seasons.

Chopra said, “Things have changed over the years, although it remains stagnant as far as achievements are concerned. Despite failing to win trophies, as compared to their male counterparts, I believe things are much better after merging with the BCCI. I did have the experience of playing under both.” Women’s cricket was earlier controlled by the Women’s Cricket Association of India.

The elegant southpaw represented India in 12 test matches and 127 one-day internationals averaging 30.44 and 31.38 in both formats respectively. Asked whether the introduction of a professional women’s league along the lines of IPL can boost the game, Chopra said, “It is all about matches which can change things around. Whether it is a league or any tournament, more matches for players mean exposure which is the only solution if women’ cricket needs to reach newer heights.”

Chopra is currently a mentor with the Delhi and district cricket association and was appointed as technical advisor by Cricket South Africa for its women’s cricket team in 2012. The former Indian captain sounded quite optimistic regarding the Assam women team’s prospects in the upcoming season under the guidance of her former teammate Anju Jain. “The team has been performing very well since the last few years. It is a very good sign for cricket in the state, because the young generation, too, gets to learn from them. Anju is doing a fine job and I am confident that she will definitely be able to carry the side forward. I would be very pleased to see her doing good,” said Chopra.

Speaking on her earlier visits to the state, Chopra said, “I have been here for the National Basketball Championship in 1994 and was again here in 1995 for Cricket.”