Gurcharan Singh, who has been conferred a Padma Shri, is integral to the story of the rise of Indian cricket post Independence.
The Indian government announced the 2023 list of Padma Awardees and among them is Gurcharan Singh, who has been integral to the story of the rise of Indian cricket since Independence. A former first class cricketer, Singh’s coaching legacy includes hundreds of players who played Ranji Cricket and a dozen who went on to play international cricket. The 87-year-old had won the Dronacharya Award in 1987, becoming the second cricket coach after Desh Prem Azad to have won the accolade. On Wednesady, Singh was awarded the Padma Shri.
Born in Rawalpindi in March 25, 1935, Singh migrated to Patiala during the Partition of India in 1947. As a player he was a right-arm off break bowler and a right-handed batter. Singh played first class cricket for the erstwhile teams of Patiala and Southern Punjab. He ended his career after a six-year stint with Railways, where he shared a dressing room with the likes of Lala Amarnath, Dattu Phadkar, B. B.Nimbalkar, Nari Contractor, Budhi Kunderan and Vasant Ranjane. Singh player 37 first class matches, taking 44 wickets at an average of 33.50 and scoring 1198 runs with one century to his name. He eventually got a coaching diploma from the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala and became a coach there.