New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Renowned cricket coach Tarak Sinha, who worked with several star Indian players including explosive wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, passed away on Saturday following a prolonged battle with lung cancer. He was 71-year-old.

In a statement, the Sonnet Cricket Club said that Sinha, who had founded the club in 1969, passed away at 3 am on Saturday. Calling him the 'soul' of Sonnet Cricket Club, it said that Sinha gave India and Delhi several cricketers, thanking everyone for standing with them "in these trying times".

"We also want to appreciate the efforts put in by the doctors in Jaipur and Delhi who worked tirelessly to revive him. Tarak sir's pride was his students and their support through this period kept him going. He was only thinking about grooming young talent during this battle. Even at the age of 70, he was enthusiastic about getting to the field and working on young cricketers," the statement read.

"He was in good spirits till his last breath, believing he could still get up on his feet! It's a heavy day for all of us at Sonnet Club, the cricket fraternity and most importantly the students who have always seen him as a guardian. May his soul rest in peace and continue to bless us to carry his legacy forward," it added.

Several veteran cricketers have expressed grief over Sinha's demise. Former India cricketer VVS Laxman said that Sinha's contribution to Indian Cricket will be forever remembered, praying his soul would rest in peace. "My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and trainees of Tarak Sinha Sir. Never met him but heard so many inspirational stories from Nehra and Aakash Chopra," he tweeted.

Aakash Chopra, who also worked with Sinha, also expressed grief over the former coach's demise, saying Indian cricket will always remember his services. "Ustaad Ji is no more. Dronacharya Awardee. Coach to over a dozen India Test cricketers. And scores of first-class cricketers. Both men and women. Without any institutional help," he tweeted.

Sinha worked with the Sonnet Cricket Club and has worked with several cricketers, including Surinder Khanna, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan, Ashish Nehra, Sanjeev Sharma, Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Anjum Chopra and Rishabh Pant. He is only the fifth cricket coach, after Desh Prem Azad, Gurcharan Singh, Ramakant Achrekar and Sunita Sharma, to be given the Dronacharya award.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma