Tarak Sinha, the illustrious coach of Delhi’s  Sonnet Cricket Club, passed away on Saturday morning after a protracted illness. Sinha was 71 years old when he died. He died without a spouse and is survived by his sister. Surinder Khanna, Sanjeev Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, the late Raman Lamba, KP Bhaskar, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan, Aakash Chopra, Anjum Chopra, Rumeli Dhar, Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Nitish Rana, and many others were among the top domestic and international cricketers produced by Sonnet. In 2018, Sinha received the Dronacharya Award for Lifetime Achievement.

“It is with great sadness that we must announce the devastating news that Shri Tarak Sinha, the founder of Sonnet Club, passed away at 3 a.m. on Saturday after a courageous two-month struggle with lung cancer,” the Sonnet Cricket Club said in a statement. “He was the driving force behind the Sonnet Cricket Club, which has produced numerous jewels for India and Delhi cricket. We want to express our gratitude to everyone who has stood by his side during this difficult period and prayed for his recovery.”

“We also want to thank the physicians in Jaipur and Delhi for their heroic efforts in trying to resuscitate him. Tarak sir’s pride was his students, and his support kept him going during this difficult time. During the conflict, he was just worried about developing young potential. He was still eager to get out on the field and work with young cricketers at the age of 70. He was upbeat until his last breath, confident that he could get back on his feet. It’s a sad day for everyone at Sonnet Club, the cricket community, and, most importantly, the students who have always looked up to him as a protector.”

Devender Sharma, his longstanding assistant who has actively mentored players like Pant, was by his side. The BCCI only employed his knowledge once, when he was named coach of the women’s national team. He worked with a youthful group of players that included Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj. Another part of his mentoring was that he would never allow a student to neglect their studies. Sinha always emphasised the need of having a backup plan. Pant remarked in an interview with ESPNcricinfo in late 2016, when he had yet to make his India debut, “I have to play Test cricket for you, sir. Only Test players are referred to as ‘country’ players at our club.”