The youngest and the oldest members of the Indian women’s cricket have a common goal- to bring home the World Cup.
Thirty-one year old Anjum Chopra, former national captain, is excited about her fourth World Cup. On the other hand, the baby of the team, M D Thirushkamini, 18, is looking to make the most of her maiden quadrennial event. Both have a vital role to play in the upcoming World Cup in Australia for which the Indian women began preparations here last Friday.
They will be looking at each other to take the team to a new level in the hope of finishing one better than where India ended last time — runners-up to Australia in South Africa in April 2005.
Anjum, veteran of three world cups and the first Indian woman to score an ODI hundred, said that the current team led by Jhulan Goswami is a mix of youth and experience. “There were no debutants in the 2005 World Cup. We had players who had played a lot of international cricket. Now, with an influx of youngsters, the combination should work good, the experience should take us through. We are building momentum and hopefully by the time we are in Australia, we will be fully prepared.” Anjum said that there is still a lot to learn from the youngsters while at the same time, she is thrilled about sharing her experience with them. “It is a give and take situation,” said the 109-ODI and 12-Test veteran, an employee of Air India. Last week Thirushkamini was adjudged the best junior woman cricketer of 2007-08 by the BCCI. The left-handed opener from Chennai said that she “has been inspired by Anjum didi and Mithali didi in the team”.
Indian team’s new vice-captain Amita Sharma said that Thirushkamini is more mature than some of the senior players. She has smelt Australia before as she went to Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence via the new scholarship scheme instituted for talented women’s cricketers by the BCCI last year.