27 January, 2021

Twice Held Match

Symbiotic ties between coaches and colleges create new nurseries of sports

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Twice Held Match

If the woes of promising young sportspersons painstakingly clawing their way up an unhelpful system is troubling, spare a thought for their coaches too. It is an irony that for years, one of India’s most successful cricket coaches had no house for his academy in Delhi. Former India women’s coach Tarak Sinha, who has produced most international cricketers than anyone in Delhi, wandered around like a nomad. Sinha even had to use picnic spots for conducting his Sonnet Club’s practice sessions. At long last, Sinha, who also had stints as Delhi and Rajasthan coach, found a permanent home in Sri Venkateswara College about 17 years ago.

In those desperate days in the 1990s, Sinha conducted Sonnet Club’s net sessions at Birla College (Kamla Park), Roshnara Park (on a matting pitch), Ajmal Khan Park, DCM Ground and Picnic Hut in Ashok Vihar. Among his pupils are Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan, Manoj Prabhakar, Aakash Chopra, Atul Wassan, Surinder Khanna, Ajay Sharma, late Raman Lamba, Sanjeev Sharma and Anjum Chopra, a former India women’s captain,...



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