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Be it a captain, or selector, or coach, you need to have an eye for talent to prevail in sport. Dinesh Lad – who has been serving as the cricket coach for the school since 1995 – not only had the eye but also the heart to go to any length to bag and nurture that talent.
It brought about the most selfless act, a gesture that would go down in history as one which changed the life of an entire household. And what about the man behind the generosity? Dinesh Lad’s clout as a coach definitely went several notches higher, so did his respect in the eyes of many. Black king I am who I am your approval isn’t needed shirt, hoodie, tank top
“I was sitting at home one day, and I told my wife about this talented young kid and that I wanted to keep him at our house. My wife immediately gave consent…I told them [Shardul’s parents] that I wanted to keep their son at my place and he could pursue both cricket and studies at our school, under freeship. So they got convinced, they felt if someone is speaking so highly, there must be something special about Shardul. And he stayed with me for the next one year.”
Dinesh Lad’s leap of faith and constant guidance for the next 365 odd days were enough to fuel Shardul Thakur’s metaphorical ‘rags to riches’ story.
“Everybody knows the rest of the story. He hit six sixes in an over in the 2006 Harris Shield, scored 168 runs in an innings – all of this pushed him into the limelight and he caught the eye of the state selectors.”
Looking back, what was that one aspect in Shardul Thakur’s game that persuaded Dinesh Lad to go all out for him?
“Having already been in coaching for 10 years, I had come across many prodigies. But when I saw Shardul Thakur, he struck me as then Mumbai’s fastest bowler in the under-15 category. There was a voice in me which said this guy has a bright future ahead. That’s what I had told his dad as well.”
However, this wasn’t the first time Dinesh Lad had gone out of his way to give flight to a Mumbai prodigy.