Dronacharya awardee Desh Prem Azad - known to the cricket world as Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma's coach - passed away on Friday. He was 75.
A noted name in Indian cricket's hall of fame, Azad had played 19 first class matches but was known more for his ability to spot and hone talent. Regarded highly by both Kapil and Sharma, Azad was awarded the Dronachaya Award for his contribution to the sport.
India's World Cup winning captain Kapil was quoted once as saying that Azad had a major role in his meteoric rise. "DP Azad's strictness helped me become the Indian captain," he had said at the Wisden Cricket Awards at Lord's in 2002.
The former right-handed batsman, who had the distinction of playing for teams like Maharaja of Patalia's XI, Southern Punjab and Haryana between 1953 and 1973, also established and successfully ran a cricket academy in Chandigarh.