Former India Women’s team captain Anjum Chopra believes that India Women should have not pulled out of the proposed tour of England in September, saying it was an opportunity for the eves to start training and come back into the fold following the Coronavirus-forced hiatus.
With less than 6 months to go for the 2021 Women’s World Cup, she feels it is important to get back to the field as soon as possible following the COVId-19 break.
Chopra told India Today: “If the girls had gone to England, that means, they would have started training before the tour. And then they would have gone there and quarantined. Like the Pakistan men’s team has been there since the time the 1st Test match started in England (against West Indies).”
She continued, “So obviously, when you start working backward, the team would have started training earlier, the team would have started matches earlier and then going out and playing a triangular series with South Africa and England. If you isolate all that and say whether the women’s team had an opportunity to start training and start coming back into the fold, yes there was an opportunity.
Especially because cricket in England is already happening, they are already playing; they have already got set-up in place for everything. There is straightaway a lag of a couple of months because everybody else has started training. If you are going to start 2 months after others have started training, you’re going to play catch-up. The others have started training but the Indian team hasn’t.”
On the chances of a full-fledged Women’s IPL in the near future, Chopra said: “I think it [full-fledged] could have been a reality if everything was fine maybe in another 2 years, it could have been. At the moment, if the women’s team misses outplaying their scheduled 7 matches. If the 2020 IPL goes ahead and women are not a party to it, then I think by next year we will play out what this year's IPL matches would have been because we don’t know what is going to happen to next year.”
He further added, “At this point of time, it doesn’t really matter about only a women’s IPL, the women should start getting to be together, starting focusing on working towards the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand because that is going to be a very important World Cup for the Indian team. They have played the final, semi-finals and then the final in the last 3 years; it’s a big World Cup. It becomes very very important. The bar has been set, if you can’t breach it, then at least you have to match it.”
The former captain further opined that the BCCI should create a bio-secure bubble in the country to resume training for its contracted players sooner than later amid Coronavirus pandemic.
She further added, “We all know for sure that this is what the situation is. We all know what it is. If the board can get the contracted players, I am not talking about the women; it’s up to the boys as well, to start having a camp in a bio-secure environment in any of the cities in the county.
When you see a bio-secure environment, it doesn’t mean that in that part of the state or city, the Coronavirus does not exist. It’s a bio-secure environment, if everyone is safe and sound, keeping all the checks, then the board can organize a camp.”
Chopra signed off by saying, “I think the camp is the way forward, that kind of bio-secure bubble needs to be thought out and planned. Ensuring that people who are fit start training.”
(With Times of India Inputs)