Dinesh Lad, the coach of Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur among many others, is that rare trainer who doesn’t charge fees from his wards. It was something he imbibed from Ramakant Achrekar, who moulded players like Sachin Tendulkar charging nominal fees, if at all. (More Cricket News)
Lad’s dedication and results – his son Siddhesh too is a Ranji Trophy winner with Mumbai – were instrumental in him recently winning the central government’s prestigious Dronacharya Award. The former Western Railways player and employee then chatted with Outlook about the honour, his plans and what makes a good coach.
What was your reaction when you won the Dronacharya Award?
I was very happy because it is such a big and prestigious award and plus, I had to receive it from the President of India, Draupadi Murmu. Secondly, my coach (the late Ramakant Achrekar) received this very same award 32 years ago. So, all I want to say is that, Dronacharya made Dronacharya.
Cricket coach Dinesh Jawahar Lad gets #DronacharyaAward 2022 (Lifetime Category)#NationalSportsAwards2022 pic.twitter.com/cFRPUszLfa— DD News (@DDNewslive) November 30, 2022
You have been on the lookout for a ground for coaching in Mumbai. Any update on that?
Not yet. I have asked the Government of Maharashtra to give me a training ground to use for coaching. The grounds in Mumbai's Kandivli, Borivali and Dahisar area are charging Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per match, I cannot afford that, and I cannot tell the authorities of Swami Vivekanand School, Gorai (where Lad is coach) to pay this amount.
What makes a good coach?
A good coach is one who has an eye for talent, and the dedication to give maximum time to students. Rohit started out as a bowler but when I saw him bat, I encouraged him to focus on batting and eventually promoted him in the batting order.
How can you tell that a trainee has what it takes?
Well, it is up to the coach to know how special the kid is. There are very few kids in the world who can reach the highest levels and it is all down to the coach to know this.
Sunil Gavaskar said after T20 World Cup that there are too many coaches traveling with the team. His point was if a great batsman like Rahul Dravid is the coach, why do you need another batting coach? Your views?
What are your plans for the future?
I retired in March 2021 from Western Railways, so my plans are to coach. Currently, the Swami Vivekanand school, where I train, has a practice ground, but it is not large enough for the kids to play matches. That is the sole reason I’m seeking a bigger space for coaching.