Former TN women's team and renowned coach Dharmalingam passes away

He always wanted players to be sharp while fielding: W.V. Raman

File image of P.K. Dharmalingam.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Former Ranji Trophy cricketer and renowned coach P.K. Dharmalingam, aged 84, passed away in Chennai at his residence on Sunday. 

Dharmalingam played 29 First Class matches for Madras and Services before turning to coaching. He was one of the pioneers in conducting summer camps in Chennai and went on to forge a successful coaching career. He had coached the Tamil Nadu women’s team. 

Dharmalingam was an attacking batsman and also bowled leg-spin, but was better known for his fielding prowess.

Over 29 matches, he made 1,132 runs at an average of 28.30, with a highest score of 162, and picked up 44 wickets at an average of 20.50, including a five-wicket haul (5/38).

Key role

Coach of the Indian national women’s team W.V. Raman, speaking to Sportstar, said, “I met him when I was around 13 or 14 when I was part of Grand Prix CC. He moulded me and used to break the back to ensure you get the basics right. Incidentally, when I moved to Alwarpet CC, he also moved, so he played a key role in the early part of my career.”

Raman added, “He always wanted players to be sharp while fielding because he realised that unlike batting and bowling, form is irrelevant to fielding.”

Former India player Sudha Shah said, “I worked with him when he was the coach of the Tamil Nadu women’s team and a lot of the players owe a lot to him. He knew the ability of each and every member of the team and knew how to get the best out that player. He was the first coach to travel with the team. The biggest influence he had on the team was in fielding and, back then, we used to win a lot of matches, thanks to our fielding.”

India allrounder R. Ashwin, in a tweet, said, “One of my coaches from the early days, a man who spent his entire life for the sport. His “Cricket Kanavugal” (Cricket Dreams) programme on TV will always be remembered by the kids from the ’90s. Rip sir.”

Former India cricketer Hemang Badani tweeted: “Sad to hear the demise of my school coach PK Dharmalingam. Learnt a lot from him. Was tough as nails and must say that has held me in good stead through my playing days. Rip sir.”

TNCA condoles death

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, in a statement, expressed deep condolence on the demise of Dharmalingam. “He is one of the senior most and respected coaches of the TNCA. The TNCA recalls his exemplary service to cricketers and to the game. The TNCA sends it deepest condolence to the family members of the departed soul.”

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