“This is a huge moment for the team and personally for me also” – Anju Jain © Getty
Within three weeks of taking over as coach of the Bangladesh women’s cricket team, Anju Jain has moulded the ‘minnows’ into champions.
Bangladesh, who beat favourites India in the round robin league stage as well, pulled off a dramatic three-wicket victory in the final against six-time champions to clinch their maiden Asia Cup title in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (June 10). Last month’s tour of South Africa was quite a disaster for Bangladeshi women, who were blanked both in the ODI (5-0) and T20 (3-0) series. The Bangladesh board didn’t renew the contract of coach David Capel, a former England allrounder, and appointed Anju, who took charge on May 21.
“Joining Bangladesh was a fast-tracked move. The team was in bad shape and I was only looking to boost their morale,” the former India wicketkeeper-opener told TOI from the team hotel. Having coached the Indian Women at the 2012 World T20 and 2013 World Cup, this is Anju’s maiden stint with an overseas side. “This is a huge moment for the team and personally for me also. After the team returned from South Africa, I identified the areas that needed attention.
“It was a massive challenge, but I must compliment the girls as they made a genuine effort to implement every single thing that I pointed out,” said Anju.
Prior to accepting the Bangladesh offer, Anju helped the Vidarbha team top the Plate Group in the domestic one-day tournament for the first time.