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Anjum Chopra says Padma Shri an award for women’s cricket

Anjum Chopra © Getty Images
Anjum Chopra played 127 One day Internationals and 12 Tests for India © Getty Images

Apr 27, 2014

On April 26  Anjum Chopra, the former captain of the India Womens team was awarded with the Padma Shri. The award was given to her for contributions in womens cricket in India.

“You have to feel the moment to understand it…so inspiring and so positive. It meant everything. I felt on top of the world,” Anjum said in an interview with The Hindu. The walk to receive the scroll, hear the citation and resume her seat, was “bliss.” It lasted less than a minute. “But it will stay with me forever,” she added.

She still remembers the call from the government on her selection for the Padma Shri. “I was driving back from the Ferozeshah Kotla and had to pull over outside the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium [where she once attended coaching classes]. I thought it was a prank, but soon realised the caller was serious. The reality took time to sink in.”

“It is an award for the game and the women’s cricketing fraternity. I could earn this honour only because I played cricket for my country. I remember the applause for my ODI century. But receiving the applause from a select gathering today was unsurpassable. My cricket journey has been worth all the pain and sweat. It is not about my personal achievement. It is about winning it for women’s cricket in India,” Anjum said.

Having played 127 One day Internationals and 12 Tests for India, she still remembers every phrase of her cricket education.

“Hardeep Dua initiated me, Sunita Sharma honed me and Tarak Sinha gave the finishing touches. Honestly, I never thought cricket would bring me the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri. It is a magnificent feeling, humbling though, to be in such august company. I have no words to express my joy. Walking the red carpet to the Darbar Hall and receiving the Padma Shri was the moment of a lifetime.”

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