Sunday turned out to be a sad day for Delhi cricket as the iconic Sonnet Cricket Club were kicked out of their longstanding base at Sri Venkateswara College. Sonnet Club, which started in 1969 under Dronacharya’s award-winning coach Tarak Sinha, has produced more than a dozen Indian cricketers and numerous players representing various states on the National Tour.
Sonnet Club was started by Sinha at Birla School in Kamla Nagar and traveled to Ajmal Khan Park in Karol Bagh, DCM Ground, PGDAV College, Rajdhani College and Piknic Hut before being based at Sri Venkateswara College. Now suddenly the club has no house or space for the current students to train and hone their cricket skills.
“Yes, today was our last day of training here. When management changes, new people arrive. Some of them are sporty, some are not. We’ve been here for 22 years. Madam (College Principal) then told us that today, April 30, would be your last day here,” Devendra Sharma, the longtime Sonnet Club coach, told IANS.
Sharma, who played 14 top-class games for Delhi, wondered about the turn of events that has left Sonnet without a base now and clouds of uncertainty hang over his future.
“I finished all practice today and just got out of the club. All the students were asking me where we were going to practice next. I said to them, ‘Beta, I don’t have a place right now’. “
“If the college allows it, we will definitely train here. But I felt that if madam was not interested in seeing that, we should practice there, that’s why we were not given any reason for her to ask us to leave here. We used to pay on time. We had nothing to do with Madame or the management. We used to just do our practice and go.”
Currently, Sonnet has four coaches and 100 students signed up for practice, 40 of whom are state players.
“We had been practicing here for so long in this college. Currently, our students Ayush Badoni and Hrithik Shokeen are currently playing IPL for Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians respectively, besides producing an Indian player like Rishabh Pant.”
“Before his accident happened (last year), he had met madam (the principal) and told her that there should be no problem with the club. Like, suddenly, we were told said we couldn’t practice here anymore. I’m currently trying to find a place to practice. But I haven’t found anything so far. I can’t tell anyone where the next practice will be.” , added Sharma.
Asked about a particular reason why Sonnet was asked to leave the college grounds, Sharma remarked, “You see, in college there is a physical education department and people who want to practice here. It is a south college and there is a south hall. They didn’t want us training here.”
“Former head of university Dr A Sankara Reddy met and tried to convince madam that you are doing this wrong but she disagreed and said ‘Practice can no longer take place here “.”
For now, finding a space for the hundred or so students enrolled at Sonnet to practice is a priority for Sharma. “Our U-14 team is the best, which is led by Vedant Sehwag, the younger son of Virender Sehwag. Viru’s two boys are playing under me at the club and even said to him, ‘Where are my kids going to play now?'”
“Today was the last day and I told the students that ‘I myself will let you know where the next practice is. Otherwise, for now, there is no place. Some students were crying in the morning, wondering what would happen next. I told them that God will give us space; and if he gives wisdom to the lady.”
Get the latest cricket news, IPL 2023 live score, orange cap and purple cap holder details here
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)