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    Jwala Singh: Trainer of Stars
Jwala Singh: Trainer of Stars

Jwala Singh: Trainer of Stars

Jwala Singh, amidst a backdrop of cricket trophies in his office, reminisced about the promise he made to himself on the day his father passed away - the promise to nurture an Indian cricket player. True to his word, Singh has fulfilled his vow, albeit at the expense of the England team. As the coach of Yashasvi Jaiswal, a rising star in international cricket who recently scored a double hundred in the second Test, their intertwined journeys have unfolded into a captivating tale.

During a three-hour conversation with The Telegraph while traversing Mumbai, Singh shared his story at various stops, eventually arriving at the Azad Maidan where his encounter with a 12-year-old boy marked a turning point in both their lives. Singh vividly recalled the incident, describing how he noticed two batsmen in the nets after a match. While one complained about the pitches and the groundsman, the other, a left-hander named Yashasvi Jaiswal, batted brilliantly without any complaints.

Image Source: Midjourney

Intrigued, Singh inquired about the talented young boy and discovered that Jaiswal had left his family in the village to pursue his cricketing dreams. Touched by the hardships Jaiswal endured, Singh decided to take him under his wing. Jaiswal moved in with Singh and his wife, and they formed a strong bond. Singh coached Jaiswal extensively, focusing on his batting skills, and they spent countless hours at the Air India Sports ground.

Traversing the bustling Azad Maidan, Singh pointed out the pitch where Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli once scored a world record partnership. The groundsman's tent, which Jaiswal called home for two years, has disappeared due to Mumbai's rapid urbanisation. Singh explained that both he and Jaiswal left small villages in Uttar Pradesh to pursue their dreams in Mumbai, united by their shared pursuit of freedom and success.

Singh himself moved to Mumbai in 1995, hoping to learn from Ramakant Achrekar, the renowned coach of Sachin Tendulkar. Facing challenging circumstances, Singh lived in a mosquito-infested room in a gymnasium, working around the clock to make ends meet. When his father was diagnosed with cancer, Singh invited him to live with him in Mumbai, but sadly, his father passed away. Devastated, Singh made a solemn promise to himself to produce an Indian player within five years.

Remarkably, Singh's path crossed with Jaiswal's just a year later. Although Jaiswal faced early obstacles, including a forged birth certificate that led to his ban from local matches, Singh supported him wholeheartedly. Jaiswal's talent shone through, and he made significant strides in his cricketing career. Singh became Jaiswal's legal guardian, and together they navigated every challenge they encountered.

Singh's coaching extended beyond Jaiswal, with former Indian players Dilip Vengsarkar and Wasim Jaffer acting as mentors. Singh's academy has coached over 300 boys, providing scholarships to children from villages as well as those who can afford to pay. Notable cricketers like Prithvi Shaw and Hamza Sheikh have benefited from Singh's guidance.

Image Source: Midjourney

Although Singh couldn't witness Jaiswal's Test debut in the West Indies due to his academy's ongoing tour, he had unwavering faith in Jaiswal's abilities. Singh believed that Jaiswal would play for India and always reminded him that his journey was just beginning. Their efforts and Jaiswal's hard work culminated in his Test debut, a testament to their shared dedication.

As Singh observed a young boy displaying promising talent at the Azad Maidan at the end of his dialogue with the journalist, he contemplated the possibility of yet another chance encounter shaping a future cricketing career. Singh, driven by his passion and determination, aspires to produce eleven Indian players in the years to come.

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