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Top coaches of India: Tarak Sinha of Sonnet Club ,New Delhi

Manoj Prabhakar, Ashis Nehra, Rishabh Pant flourished under Mr Sinha

Cricket fans are always engrossed with their favourite cricketers and teams ,enjoying the entertainment provided by them in various formats of the game. Little do we realise the hardship of a makings of an international cricketer particularly in their formative years. We would not have known Kapil Dev but for Deshprem Azad, his coach , Tendulkar’s talent would not have flourished but for Ramakant Achrekar .Often we forget these important individuals who always worked in the background with much lesser funds to bank on to churn out great cricketers for the future.

One such selfless individual who has been a legend in his own right in the Indian cricket  coaching fraternity is Mr Tarak Sinha of Sonnet club, New Delhi South. Sonnet club is famous for churning out good international cricketers in the past four decades under the watchful eyes of Mr Sinha. Always a follower of conventional method of coaching, Tarak Sinha has coached subsequent Indian Team cricketers such as Surinder Khanna, Manoj Prabhakar, Ashis Nehra, Akash Chopra, Sandeep Sharma to name a few.  In past interviews with media ,Mr Sinha observed that cricketers of 80s and 90s used to love cricket more and was fond of listening to past historical happenings in the game .They used to set up their own practice sessions.For example Manoj Prabhakar used to travel on his own from Ghaziabad by train daily ,set up his own nets and ensure leaving in time . He used to work very hard in practice sessions. Needless to say that his dedication allowed him to maximise his talents and later on he become the 1st Indian fast bowler to introduce the art of  reverse swing in Indian cricket and Kapil Dev became the 1st beneficiary of  that. Mr Sinha also feels that current generation cricketers had to be convinced a lot more than past groups.

The veteran coach close to his seventies and with age reducing his mobility ,has been a mastermind in the rise of Rishabh Pant , the latest Indian talent from his centre. A native of Roorkie in Uttarakhand, a young Rishabh Pant was a loner when he was first admitted under Tarak Sinha’s coaching. Pant was subsequently sent to Rajasthan cricket academy where Mr Sinha was a director in order to get more exposure. However locals there branded him as an outsider and hence he was not allowed to play in Rajasthan . As a result  he was brought back to Delhi and started honing his skills under Mr Sinha in Sonnet club. The experienced coach ,realising the obvious talent in the teenaged  Pant, took extra special care for him getting him admitted to school, arranged for a rented room in Palam and arranged for all important necessities like a washing machine, casuals, and other necessities.

With regular long hours of practice , Pant started making waves in whatever higher level of cricket he was getting involved in, in his gradual rise and with his success he was moved by his club to a better residence with his mother also started to stay with him. Subsequently with success in under19s and a  IPL contract , Tarak Sinha took special care in getting him a flat in South Delhi (now that Pant has reached a stage to bear his own expenses) and arranging for a vehicle. Inspite of his gradual rise to fame, Pant continued to stay to his roots . There has still been immense respect for his coach and blindfolded belief. Even after his rise to stardom , Pant still goes to Tarak Sinha to discuss on his game.  Pant has even stated the Mr Sinha without even nowadays watching him bat ,can still pinpoint his flaws by coming to know how he got out, such is his understanding of his pupil and so only he has the right to alter his game if required.  As he stated in one of his past interviews, Pant does not consider Tarak Sinha as his father figure, but he considers him as nothing less than his father.

The above instances prove the amount of quality as a coach or game reading that Tarak Sinha poccesses which has made even Rishabh Pant ,already an achiever ,to still stick to his coach of formative years. One of the most self effacing and long serving coaches of Indian cricket, who forever works in the background ,away from public glare and occasionally produces a skilled talent good enough for donning Indian colours. A pity ,that the Dronacharya award continues to elude him.

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Amitava Mukherjee

A commerce graduate with work experience in Banking sector. An avid sports enthusiast. Big fan of soccer cricket and tennis

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