Sonnet Cricket Club Conducting Practice Sessions At Central Secretariat Ground After Eviction From Venkateswara College

(MENAFN- IANS) By Niharika Raina
New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) On April 30, Sonnet cricket Club was forced out of its long-time base at Sri Venkateswara College, leaving its hundred trainees without a space to practice in New Delhi. While the club is still searching for its new base, for now, they are temporarily having their practice sessions at Central Secretariat ground amidst a busy season of cricket in the summer.
"We have been conducting our practice sessions at the Central Secretariat ground on Vinay Marg for the last one week, which is just an arrangement for the time being. The (Venkateswara) college management has almost said no to us for space to practice. Nets as well as wickets for practice are available at the Central Secretariat ground," Devendra Sharma, the long-time coach at Sonnet Club, told IANS.
Sonnet Club, one of the most prestigious cricket clubs in the country, was established by Dronacharya awardee coach Tarak Sinha, who passed away in November 2021, at the Birla School in Kamla Nagar.
It then travelled to Ajmal Khan Park in Karol Bagh, DCM Ground, PGDAV College, Rajdhani College and Piknic Hut, followed by being based at the Sri Venkateswara College for almost 22 years, till the authorities stopped the club from operating on their ground from April 30.
The search for finding a new ground for Sonnet Club is still on. "We are trying hard to find a new ground and as of now, we haven't found one yet. There have been multiple talks going on at 10-11 places, but nothing has been finalised yet," added Sharma.
Sharma is searching for a new ground as well as preparing his students for upcoming age-group competitions.
"I am making the students practice with what I have in hand right now at the Central Secretariat ground. If I had my own setup in place, I would have provided them with even better practice," he said.
"As of now, I have sent the names of students from the club for the upcoming DDCA U16 and U19 tournaments, set to happen in two-three weeks' time, and making them practice at the place that I have currently," he added.
In over 50 years of its existence, Sonnet Club has produced international cricketers like Surinder Khanna, Randhir Singh, Raman Lamba, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan, Ashish Nehra, Sanjeev Sharma, Aakash Chopra, Anjum Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant, apart from domestic stalwart KP Bhaskar.
Recently, three players from the club were playing in IPL 2023 - Ayush Badoni and Mayank Yadav (Lucknow Super Giants) and Hrithik Shokeen (Mumbai Indians).
Sharma stated the club couldn't have afforded to shut practice for long, keeping in mind the career and development of young trainees.
"The kids who are associated with me are good students and wherever I go, they come along with me. For some of them, the current practice location is near while for a few others, it has turned a little far due to the lack of metro connectivity, which was there at Venky's and that used to make things very easy," the Sonnet Club coach said.
"The parents were worried at first, but we are managing somehow. We had to keep the students practicing, and for how long could we have stopped the practice? Because if we had stopped the practice for long, ultimately the kids would have suffered," he added.
Sharma signed off by saying Nehra, Pant and former India opener Virender Sehwag, whose two sons are trainees at the club, are helping him to find a new ground.
"Ashish (Nehra), Rishabh Pant and Virender Sehwag are engaged in helping and getting the club to find a new ground. After Gujarat Titans (whose head coach is Nehra) play their IPL 2023 final today (against Chennai Super Kings at Ahmedabad), let's see what happens next," he said.



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