Memoirs of a cricketing guru

Rohit Mahajan

After a drought lasting a very long time, cricketing autobiographies are making a comeback — by the 1980s, Sunil Gavaskar had written 4 books, Kapil Dev wrote at the very least two, and even Sandeep Patil got here up with one. Then there was a lull as few cricketers put pen to paper. The autobiographies have made a comeback within the current years, with books by Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Sanjay Manjrekar and Sourav Ganguly.

Pitching it straight
by Gurcharan Singh with MS Unnikrishnan.
Pages 183.
Rs 399

Coaches, although, hardly ever forayed into writing. This providing by Gurcharan Singh, the good cricket coach from Delhi, exhibits that it’s essential they did — such tales ought to be important studying for younger gamers attempting to make a profession in sport, and coaches who should take care of gifted however temperamental children and their dad and mom.

Guchi Sir, because the 85-year-old is called, will not be a family title amongst followers, however amongst his friends, the respect he attracts is nearly unparalleled. Over 100 of his trainees have performed First Class cricket, and 12 of them have performed for India; coaches dream of guiding a single participant to the worldwide degree — Singh has performed it a number of occasions.

Singh owes his success to his expertise within the sport — he was a effective cricketer for Punjab and Railways — plus his ardour and self-discipline. There are a number of examples of the final attribute: Kirti Azad, son of a robust politician, could possibly be troublesome as a baby, however Singh would have none of it; after one episode of unhealthy behaviour, Singh threw Kirti out of his camp. Kirti’s father, Bhagwat Jha Azad, backed Singh, and the younger cricketer learnt his lesson. “Kirti maintained good behaviour thereafter to emerge as an outstanding player,” writes Singh.

Apart from producing prime cricketers, Singh did one thing that Delhi’s cricket and cricketers would perpetually stay indebted to him for — he formed the cricket centre on the National Stadium after becoming a member of there because the coach in 1969. Two golf equipment have been shaped, NIS and Veterans, and he turned a a lot sought-after coach at colleges and faculties of the town, and for VIP youngsters within the capital.

The strict disciplinarian in him didn’t faze even when coping with VIPs — an Army General didn’t like his sons being turned away from Singh’s nets. The General tried to get him transferred out. “Eventually, I prevailed upon Gen Chajju Singh that his sons were good at studies, but not in cricket,” he writes. The General obtained the purpose. One child who ran away from his strict teaching turned well-known as actor Shah Rukh Khan.

The e book is peppered with anecdotes, and recounts his emotional go to to his ancestral go to in Pakistan, 72 years after Partition, when his father was killed by rioters.

If you’re a bit dissatisfied with this e book, it’s for a superb motive — at 180-odd pages, it nearly skims by means of the trove of tales that Singh has collected in his 85 years.

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