Coach Corner : Gyan Singh, the Unsung Hero behind the making of the Stars
In cricket, there are usually different types of coaches, each coach has a different method & a different style. Some coaches are modern and emphasize more on the technology and modern amenities to train the players while some are old school who work on the technique and raw skills grinding in the nets, working hard on the ground. At a time when many people are taking up coaching as a career from a very young age, it’s quite a task to spot an experienced coach who has not only played and seen cricket closely, but also has strict fundamentals and traditional approach towards coaching. 55 year old Gyan Singh is one of those rare breeds of coaches left in Mumbai who has ample of experience and has given Mumbai as well as the world some of the finest cricketers.
Beginning his own journey from school cricket playing in tournaments like Giles and Harris Shield from Marwadi Vidyalaya School, Gyan Singh is a former professional cricketer himself who played top division cricket in Mumbai for almost 15 years representing National Cricket Club and Victory CC during his playing days. Gyan Singh shared with Cricketgraph that he has played in all major ‘A’ Div Tournaments. Gyan Singh also has experience of playing International Cricket in Bahrain where he has a part of the 4 Nation Dadabhai Mini World Cup which consisted 4 teams namely India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Rest of the World XI.
Foraying into coaching is an obvious decision for most of the cricketers and Gyan Singh who is a Level 1 Certified Coach from National Cricket Academy and MCA. In a career spanning almost 3 decades, he has coached numerous students who have scaled higher levels under his mentoring. Gyan Singh’s grassroot approach and quality coaching abilities also helped him become an MCA Observer and an MCA Coach for 10 years. As an MCA Coach, he served in all groups from U14 to U19 Categories. For 2 years, Coach Gyan Singh was also appointed the coach of MCA Women’s team’s Special Camp at Islam Gymkhana. Gyan Singh has also worked as a Head Coach at Rizvi Sports Club, Payyade Sports Club & Goregaon Sports Club for more than 10 years.
He has also been the head coach of Lilavati Hospital’s Corporate Team which participates in tournaments like Times Shield for around 10 years. Apart from that he has been a head coach at various colleges like N.M College, Chinay College, Pravin College Sr and Thakur College to name a few. Gyan Singh is also the part of International match organizing committee and he has worked in various operations in tournaments like IPL, Mumbai One Day Series, India vs England U19 amongst others.
Gyan Singh is currently also working with top level cricketers like Shivam Dube (Team India), Mumbai player Dhrumil Matkar, Nikhil Patil Sub Jr being some of the notable names. Gyan Singh also remembers training Prithvi Shaw till his U19 days. Gyan Singh sir coached Prithvi for almost 5 years right from his U14 days from Rizvi School till the time he reached India U19. Gyan Singh further adds: “All that posters you see of Yashasvi Jaiswal being spotted by this and that coach is largely a media story, the real story is different. During his initial days, i helped Yashasvi find a place to live and gave him support, later on other coaches came over”
One of the interesting stories which Gyan sir shared was of Jemimah Rodrigues. Gyan Sir shared “Jemimah was originally a basketball player, i had spotted her at Podar School where she studied and convinced her father to make her play cricket. I made her and one more player bat whole day and that is how her cricketing journey began, a moment I certainly cherish a lot”
Gyan Singh also shares that it was his talent spotting abilities which helped him spot Naushad Khan who went on to became a Top Division cricketer and also gave Mumbai two promising cricketers in the form of Sarfaraz and Musheer.
Going through Gyan sir’s journey as a coach, you might relate his coaching career much to the likes of legendary Vidya Paradkar sir or Ramakant Achrekar sir. These are two senior coaches who lived a humble life throughout despite producing the most successful cricketers. It won’t be an exaggeration if we compare Gyan Singh as one of those type of coaches too who was instrumental in shaping the careers of many cricketers. However, the amount of accredition and acknowledgement which a coach of his stature deserves has so far eluded him to an extent. Hence we kept a title “The unsung hero behind the making of many stars in the world of cricket”
Also here’s wishing him all the luck for his new role as a Head Coach at Jolly Friends Sports Club Cricket Academy in Ghatkopar where he will be looking forward to share his cricketing wisdom, experience and expertise with the young aspiring cricketers.
List of Notable players Cricket Coach Gyan Singh has worked with or coached:
- Dhrumil Matkar (Mumbai Sr. Team)
- Shivam Dube (Team India)
- Nikhil Patil Sub. Jr (Pondicherry Team)
- Armaan Jaffer ( IPL, India U19, Mumbai)
- Aman Khan (Mumbai U23)
- Prayag Bhati (Ranji Trophy)
- Kevin Almeida (A Div & Mumbai)
- Bhupinder Singh (U.P Ranji)
- Kesar Singh Thapa (Ranji Trophy)
- Soham Panvalkar (Goa U23)
- Atul Singh (India U19)
- Agam Pandey (India U19)
- Mussavir Khote (IPL)
- Naushad Khan (Father of Sarfaraz and Musheer Khan)
- Prithvi Shaw (U14 to U19)
- Yashasvi Jaiswal (India U19, IPL)
- Jemimah Rodrigues (India Team)
- Rajesh Sardar (Mumbai U19)
- Mukund Sardar (Mumbai U19)
- Kushant Agarwal
- Nitesh Kotwale
- Sahil Jadhav (Mumbai U16)
Gyan Singh is currently coaching at Jolly Friends Sports Club Cricket Academy in Ghatkpar in Mumbai. Click below to join the academy:
Some paper cuttings preserved by Cricket Coach Gyan Singh: