Anjum Chopra pens book on women`s cricket

Updated: Feb 03, 2011, 19:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Struggling to make a mark, the difficulties of women cricketers have been penned down in a book titled `Women`s Cricket World` and co-author, former India captain Anjum Chopra, feels this will help raise the profile of the sport.

"I hope this book can help in raising the standard of women`s cricket across the world. Now that even ICC is taking steps to promote women`s cricket, I feel this will go a long way in establishing some sort of a connect," said the 33-year-old cricketer, who has played in six World Cups for India.

Anjum said the book, co-written by Rajesh Kalra and Sunil Kalra, was a result of a lot of hard work and it is a matter of celebration that women`s cricket has been talked about at length for the first time.

"The book needed a lot of hard work. It was extensively researched for the last six years. But it is also a celebration as this is the first in the world to be talking about women`s cricket. Individual players have shared their experiences, their pictures and their thoughts over it."

When asked about the challenges, women cricketers generally face, Anjum said, "Women`s cricket is still not very widely accepted across the globe, while men`s cricket is so popular and so hyped. I agree that they deserve all the accolades but when it comes to women`s cricket it still raises a lot of eyebrows. Acceptability is still an issue and women cricketers are fighting for their own space."

But Anjum, who began her career in 1995, also admitted that a lot of change has come in since she first started but a lot more needs to be done.

"It is now looking brighter and better. Women`s cricket in India started almost 30-40 years ago and I started playing about 15 years back. From where it was then till today it has definitely improved," said the veteran cricketer, who has played 12 Tests and 116 ODIs.

"ICC has taken a lot of initiatives. It has actually taken it across to 100 countries from just about 20-30 countries. There were countries, which initially only had women`s cricket and men`s cricket started later. Such steps have given a lot of advantage to women," Anjum added.

Heaping praise on ICC President Sharad Pawar, who has written the foreword of the book, Anjum said, "Women`s cricket has now got live television audience. Twenty20 World Cup was aired in almost 200 countries. Playing in the same ground as men`s was a double header as one ticket holder could watch both the men`s and women`s games in just one ticket.”

"Support of ICC in women`s cricket has been very good and with Mr Pawar at the helm, it has helped the cause and it is not wrong to say that he is very progressive. We are hoping there are much better days ahead."

When asked about the state of Indian cricket, Anjum said Indian eves need a lot more exposure.

"Among the top four countries -- India, New Zealand, Australia and England, if you compare the Indian team with the other nations, we play the least amount of series.”

"As a team, we need to compete more at the international level. In order to keep improving, we need to keep playing against these top and better oppositions and that too more frequently. We must get more exposure," said Anjum.