Dinesh Lad ,the head coach of SVIS ( Swami Vivekananda International School) in Khandiville Mumbai has been one of the finest coaches of budding cricketers in Mumbai with a eye to catch gold. Born in 1961 , he was into cricket as he was a student under Late Ramakant Achrekar, the famous coach of Sachin Tendulkar. However due to family responsibilities he could not sustain his cricket career and drifted to cricket coaching, which was also his subject of interest. He did not clear BCCI’s level 1 coaching course and did not try later ,hence didnt have any coaching degree but turned out to be a very successful coach with great ability to spot talent. Later he turned out to be Rohit Sharma’s childhood coach and was responsible initially for Rohit’s gradual rise in international cricket.
It so happened that Dinesh Lad’s school was having a match with another school and there he spotted an off spinner in the opposition who was bowling well and looked talented . On asking his name, the 11 year old boy replied: Rohit Sharma. On further questioning, the boy disclosed that he lives with his uncle and his parents live in Dombiville. Mr Lad convinced his uncle to get Rohit admitted in SVIS as that he can get good training in cricket with the facilities available in SVIS. However on hearing the monthly school fees at SVIS is much higher than his current school, young Rohit and his uncle declined admission citing financial reasons . As a true mentor Nr Lad approached the SVIS principal and after some persuasion convinced him to allow Rohit to study in the school for free since he has financial issues ,looks to have some talent for cricket and cant afford to pay fees. After he got admitted to SVIS, Rohit trained under Dinesh Lad as an off spinner . Mr Lad was initially not aware how well he can bat too. Soon one day he spotted Rohit knocking with the help of another guy and was surprised to note his matured style of batting. Highly impressed Mr Lad asked him to pad up and got him to bat against some of the better bowlers. Rohit showed his class yet again and soon his batting started to get more preference gradually. It so happened that one day he spotted an elegant Mercedez and told his coach that he will buy the car to which Mr Lad laughed and said first one needs to became a great player to play for India before he can expect such wealth to which Rohit said ,that one day he will definitely avail the car. The quest for excellence continued under Mr Lad’s training as in the school matches he started to bat gradually higher up the order and looked at ease. Runs started to flow in age group matches. Later he was a hit in under 19 World cup and was the best batsman . Rohit’s rise continued as he was included in India ‘A’ squad after an injury to Manoj Tiwary and his batting was highly praised by noted Pakistan commentator Rameez Raja. Rohit got India call up to play in 1st T20 World cup where he was a success and then played in Commonwealth bank ODI series in Australia in 2008 where he played some crucial knocks including a 66 in the 1st final having a superb partnership with Tendulkar and India went on to win the event. However there seem to be a dip in his dedication soon after with so much of financial perks associated with senior cricket and he was not scoring big runs. Better performances from other players saw him not getting included in India World cup 2011 squad and he was hugely dissappointed. Mr Lad spoke to him and was brutally honest with him saying that he needs to show more seriousness and resilience in his game as talent alone will not be enough to see him through, he needs to score big runs and be more focused in cricket than in other things . Rohit realised and soon raised the level of his training and results started to flow with his test debut and truckloads of runs for India in ODIs . Heeding to his childhood coach’s advice ,he started to take more time initially in his innings and thus the big centuries started to flow. Thus started Rohit Sharma’s rise to fame which took initial roots under Dinesh Lad’s coaching.
The 11 year old boy who was impressed on seeing a Mercedes, now owns more than 1 car by virtue of his success in top level cricket.
With top class training facilities available at SVIS , lots of school students gets trained under Dinesh Lad. Shardul Thakur is another Indian cricketer who is a product of Dinesh Lad’s coaching. Seeing his impressive pace , Mr Lad took him under his wings and in order to minimise his travel time ( Shardul used to stay 60 kms away) Mr Lad made him stay at his residence for one year . Now Shardul has already started to play matches for India. This shows the dedication of Dinesh Lad as a cricket coach who not only develops cricketers but also looks after their well being and other issues.
His well trained son Siddweshar Lad is a capable batsman and in the Mumbai Ranji team. Recently Mr Lad is also hopeful of another teenage batting talent Arjun Lotlikar ,who he feels has the talent to make to big .
Thus as a coach will no coaching degree, Mr Dinesh Lad has proved his credentials as one of the most successful coaches at junior level and is very dedicated towards his students . BCCI should take note of such well to do coaches and utilise them to develop Indian cricket from the grassroot level.