Unsung hero

Tarak Sinha is surprised when you request him for an interview. “Did some colleague of yours in Delhi tell you about me?” he asks, flashing a friendly smile.

The veteran coach is used to his anonymity; he least expects that some journalist would recognise him during a Ranji Trophy match in a small town in Kerala. Not even when he has produced 11 international cricketers and played a key role in Rajasthan winning the Ranji Trophy in Cinderella fashion in 2010-11.

Tarak, who now is the director of the Jharkhand Cricket Academy, has produced players like Manoj Prabhakar, Ashish Nehra, Akash Chopra, Atul Wassan, Ajay Sharma, Sanjeev Sharma, Raman Lamba, Surinder Khanna, K. P. Bhaskar and Shikhar Dhawan. They have all played for Sonnet Cricket Club, which he founded in 1969. Tarak, a former clerk in a Delhi college, ran the club on his own.

“Now my wards, who have become successful international cricketers, help me run the club,” he says. “My first ever ward to play international cricket was medium-pacer Randhir Singh.”

Tarak, a former wicketkeeper, may not have received any plumb coaching assignments despite his credentials, though he trained the Indian women’s team some 10 years ago, with a lot of success. “Those days women’s cricket didn’t receive as much patronage as it does today, but my team scored a 5-0 victory against England in a one-day series, won a Test match in South Africa. It was India’s first ever win overseas and also won in New Zealand,” Tarak recalls. “The team’s captain was Anjum Chopra, who was a trainee of mine.”

Isn’t he disappointed that he has remained an unsung coach? “Not really,” he says. “I am just happy that I continue to produce good cricketers.”

P.K. Ajith Kumar