Tarak Sinha, one of India’s most respected cricket coaches, dies at 71: The Tribune India

New Delhi, November 6

Tarak Sinha, the Indian coach with the most international and first-class cricketers as disciples, died on Saturday morning from a prolonged illness.

He was 71 years old.

He was single and is survived by his sister and hundreds of students and supporters, whose lives have improved thanks to his positive presence.

Sinha was a father figure of the famous Delhi Sonnet Club, which produced some of the best cricketers in the country, who ruled national and international cricket.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must share this tragic news of Shri Tarak Sinha, the founder of the Sonnet Club, left us for a heavenly abode at 3 a.m. on Saturday after a courageous battle with lung cancer for two months, “the Sonnet club said in a statement.

“Ustad ji,” as his followers reverently called him, over nearly five decades, has nurtured, nurtured, and managed raw talents and, through his club, has given them a platform to perform and wings to. steal.

This is the reason why some of his most distinguished students (they don’t want to be named) were monitoring his health and making arrangements until his last day.

His longtime assistant Devender Sharma, who actively coached Rishabh Pant, was by his side.

Just take a look at the names and we’ll know why giving him a Lifetime Dronacharya Award as late as 2018 was sacrilege.

His early pupils included the mainstays of Delhi cricket. Surinder Khanna, Manoj Prabhakar, late Raman Lamba, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan, Sanjiv Sharma who all ran Delhi cricket and also played for India.

Then there were the national heavyweights like KP Bhaskar, the mainstays of the hitters from the mid-80s to the early 90s.

The post-90s were when he produced some of his best international players including Aakash Chopra, female cricketers including former national captain Anjum Chopra, versatile Rumeli Dhar as well as point guard Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan. , and perhaps one of the brightest. Indian cricket stars, Rishabh Pant.

There were a lot of coaches across India, but very few were like Ustad ji who was a true scout of blue talent.

BCCI never used his expertise except once when they appointed him coach of the women’s national team. Then he worked with a very young group of players who had Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj in their ranks.

For Sinha, Sonnet was family. His dedication to cricket was such that he never thought of getting married.

In his mind, it was always about finding the next best talent and seeing him in the colors of India.

Another aspect of his coaching was that he would never let any student ignore his academics.

Any student who took the training during their annual school or college exams would be fired immediately and not allowed to practice until the exams were completed.

Sinha knew that not all would become a Dhawan, Pant or Nehra and academics would give them a Plan B.

One example is Pant, who was accompanied by his mother and spotted by Sinha’s assistant, Devender, who was then training in Rajasthan.

Sinha told him to watch the “boy” for a few weeks before he returned.

Pant’s story of staying in a gurdwara (which he did a few times) has become a myth, but it was Sinha, who organized Pant’s education at a school in Delhi, from where he passed his 10th and 12th board exams.

He also made arrangements to rent accommodation where he could stay while pursuing his cricket ambition.

Once during an interview with PTI, Pant’s emotional responses struck a chord.

“Tarak sir is not like a father figure. He’s a father to me,” Pant had said.

He was extremely proud of what Pant has accomplished in his international career so far, but he will never express it.

Another story is about a middle-aged man arriving with his teenage son at the Venky Nets.

“I’m from Roorkee, the town of Rishabh Pant. He’s my son, please make him a cricketer like Rishabh. He’s very passionate,” the father had such an expectation in his eyes that would look like Sinha had a magic wand.

This correspondent remembers Sinha telling the father to come back after two hours and asking the boy to start exercising.

“These parents have no idea. They don’t even know what kind of talent Rishabh was when he arrived and what kind of hard work he did during those early teenage years,” he told a couple of. journalists at his side.

His students loved him and he loved them back.

Sinha was the old school coach who gave her pupil a tight slap if the head tilted to the side and the batter lost his balance while driving.

His students loved him and will remember him with wet eyes and a smile on his face. PTI

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