Last updated: January 25, 2023, 11:05 PM IST
The Government of India announced the 2023 Padma Awardees on Wednesday. Padma awards are one of the highest civilian awards in the country. A total of 106 awards including the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri have been approved by the Honorable President of India this year. One of them is former first-class cricketer and ex-India coach Shri Gurcharan Singh.
Born in Rawalpindi in 1935, Singh came to Patiala as a refugee after the partition of India in 1947. He started his cricketing journey under the watchful eye of Patiala’s Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. He represented the teams of Patiala, Patiala and Eastern Punjab States Union, Southern Punjab and Railways, among others, and played 37 first-class matches before becoming a coach.
Singh’s cricketing career could not go beyond domestic cricket. However, he is known to produce as many as 12 quality players who represented India in international cricket. His disciples include Kirti Azad, Maninder Singh, Kirti Azad, Vivek Razdan, Gursharan Singh, Ajay Jadeja, Rahul Sanghvi and Murali Kartik.
Gurcharan Singh obtained a coaching diploma from the National Institute of Sports in Patiala and then joined the Sports Authority of India center in New Delhi as a head coach. His notable coaching spells include his tenure with North Zone between 1977 and 1983, as head coach of Maldives in 1985 and as coach of the Indian cricket team from 1986 to 1987.
In 1992-1993 he joined the Pace Bowling Academy as a director. The academy was started jointly by the Laxmibhai National College of Physical Education and the BCCI in Gwalior.
He bagged the Dronacharya Award in the year 1987 and became only the second cricket coach after Desh Prem Azad to receive India’s highest sports coaching award.
Gurcharan Singh’s first-class stats:
Number of runs: 1198
Best Bowling Scores: 4/20
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