Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weekend Cricket Lessons - Breakfast with Baig Sir

After a long session with the kids - most of them his coachees for a while now - Baig sir turned his attention to Anjali and pulled her out of the junior kids nets and made her practice some bowling and batting drills. Since he was in a relaxed mood and since we needed a bite ourselves I invited him for breakfast at Chutneys and he came graciously. Despite the longish wait he waited with characteristic patience and good humour, ate his upma carefully and completely and drank his 'light' coffee with great relish. It was a breakfast I really enjoyed.
Intense concentration (Pics courtesy - Prashanta Nayak)
'After 40 long years of not taking a day's break from coaching, I went on this four month holiday for the first time,' he told me. 'I wondered how crazy I have been, thinking and getting so involved in the game like a madman. You won't believe it but I used to get up at nights thinking of a particular boy whose technique needed to be worked on. That's how crazy I have been for all these years. And for the first time I took a break and enjoyed life other than cricket.'
Young wards - Anjali, Anuradha (already playing for the state), Kapish (prodigy), Aman, Mayank
'The air in Canada is so fresh,' he said. 'I could breathe in fully and feel the freshness, the health. Ever since I came back I have been unwell, the air is so polluted here.'
Terrific balance - Anuradha executing an on drive
'No coach comes on time for more than 3-4 days these days. I have been coming to the ground before anyone else in all these years. (He beats all of us even now - even today he was there before us - fully clad in whites and a  sweater - handsome and dignified as ever - riding his Kinetic Honda despite his advanced years.)
Doing the throw downs as accurately as he would 35 years ago when I first met him as a schoolboy
'Hyderabad owes it to Ibrahim Khan saab and Bhoopathy saab who were excellent and committed coaches. It was after them that I took up the work. I have coached 35 internationals and 20 Ranji trophy players till today.' (I have personally seen him coach Azhar, Shivlal, Arshad, Venkatapathy Raju Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa...and then there was the Under 19 side under Ravi Shastri that included W.V. Raman, L. Sivaramakrishnan etc of which about 11 played for India).
Consummate ease - where do we find such ease these days
I saw some pictures of him that were taken today. He looked so much at ease in his stance, the classical English stance. The way he held his bat like it belonged there, a part of his body, the ease in the drive - there is no stiffness, no resistance anywhere. It is an education just watching the pictures. And you wonder, why is everybody struggling so much when it looks so simple. But that is what great masters do - make thing s look so simple.

It's been a long, long association with Baig sir, from the time I was a 14 year old boy at All Saints and he was my first coach, till today when I still ask him questions about technique and the game. He is one of those people who needs to be seen to believe they really exist - the passion for the game consumes everything. Once he starts, he forgets food, water and goes on from 6 in the morning to past lunch time without a break. 


Unknown said...

Sir namaskar,
A very beautifully designed blog sir. A master can only define a master. I loved the pics and your exuberance in defining those moments. Tons of heartfelt thanks sir.

Hope sir, your presence, writings, PMA books, voluntary counselling sessions shall help many human beings in general and cricketers in particular to achieve great heights!


Prashant Nayak

Harimohan said...

Thanks Prashanta Nayak ji!

Mandar said...

Can you please let me know where is Baig Sir coaching these days?

Harimohan said...

Mandar, he is coaching on the weekends (630-930 am) at the Jaisimha Cricket Academy, near Bowenpally, Hyderabad.