Being multitalented is a blessing and Anjum has proved it by being a cricket commentator, former cricketer, and captain of India’s national women’s cricket team. The fearless left-hander was influential in some of India’s most memorable victories. Anjum has motivated women’s cricket in India. With an interview with the Women Entrepreneur team, Anjum rekindles memories of her sports journey.

Here are a few excerpts from the conversation.

How has the scenario changed for female athletes in India in recent times? In your opinion how was this change brought about?

I just feel that the major factor in seeing that whatever change has been brought about, is largely related to the results and the consistency of the results in the sporting arena. By looking at sportspersons like Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu, women cricketers, and hockey players, one can say that the results have been consistent. That’s the reason why the discussions and the feeling around us have been consistent.

What motivated you to become a sportsperson? Who inspired you as a young athlete?

For me, the motivation was there to be the best in the field. That’s what kept me going. I wanted to be good at whatever I do. The drive and motivation to be a sportsperson was always there in front of me. I just wanted to play cricket and I played. I never thought of any reason to do so.

I belong to a family of sportspeople. I had enough examples around me and there were discussions of sports around me from a very young age. So being familiar with the field of sports was not different for me.

I have a family of sportspersons. So cricket was played at the backyard. From there, I picked up sports. Also, my family has been very supportive. They have introduced me to the game in a professional manner. That’s how I started.

Give us little detail about your work schedule.

If I am not travelling anywhere for sports I attend my office and go to work. The day keeps changing according to what my job role has been. If I am in UAE and covering cricket, then I can’t attend the office. So my day is very different here. I try to follow a pattern and a program that I can manage, depending upon my timelines. If the match gets over late, then in that case my morning does not begin at 5 or 6 o’clock. Therefore, the schedule keeps changing, according to what I am busy doing.

According to you what qualities make a teammate a good team captain?

There arent any defined qualities as such. Whatever qualities are required to be a leader, are the qualities to be a captain. A captain and a leader are the two sides of the same coin. So the same attributes apply for both.

Who was your favourite coach and what was the reason for it?

There is no favourite coach as coaches are like teachers and every teacher is important in your career. I had very good coaches right through my playing days. All of them have a contribution in my career. So all of them are my favourite.

Tell us about your greatest achievement till date? What kind of things are you working on?

Whatever achievements I had in my journey I value them all. There is nothing like any greatest achievement. I am currently in UAE covering IPL cricket. Around the field of sports, whatever my job requires me to do I make sure to do that.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning? We all know that you are successful in sports. Can you describe your first success in sports?

Attitude has both positive and negative connotations. If you have a positive attitude, it helps you in various ways. Apart from just winning or losing, a positive attitude in everything is admired. I just try to do the best I can. I feel happy if it is inspirational for someone.

For me getting into the Indian team, finishing college and MBA was a success. Every day, if I do justice to my work, then it is a success for me. I see success in different ways apart from winning trophies only.

What role does the coach play in the life of a sportsperson? What inspires you to give your best every single day?

Coach is important because he or she is the guide. The coach has the same importance in the life of a sportsperson as the guide has in the life of a person.

 I aspire to do the best, every single day. I like to excel and do well. Moreover, I believe each day should be valuable to me and my work. Also, each day should be better than the previous one.

What is the toughest aspect of being a sportsperson? Do you have any advice for young people who want a career in sports?

For a sportsperson meeting, the target may be called the toughest aspect. You have to prove that you are worthy enough to occupy the place that you have. If you want to start a career there is no looking back. Just go ahead and start playing.