Cricketers reflect on the contributions of the late Harold “Doc” Dhanraj

first_imgFormer Demerara Cricket Board executive and renowned coach, Harold Dhanraj or “Doc” as he was popularly known, passed away November 24. Dhanraj, who was known for his easy going persona, had been a pillar of cricket knowledge. Throughout his time he served as vice-president of the Demerara Cricket Board and Club Captain and President of the Georgetown Cricket Club.He will however, be most notably remembered for his role as a coach and bowler.Stabroek Sport caught up with a few members of the cricket fraternity who shared their views and experiences with the late Harold ‘Doc’ Dhanraj. Ramnaresh SarwanFormer GCC, Guyana and West Indies captain“A father figure, since I joined GCC when I was nine years old, I was fortunate to meet him during the Saturday morning sessions. He was always teaching us discipline, the basic stuff that you would learn at home like tuck in your shirt, good morning, good afternoon, aunty and uncle. Most important for me was that he was very open, even when I went on to play international cricket he would talk to me from time and would always be there for me. There were so many good memories I had with him, especially throughout my second and third-division life he was there and he has impacted who I am today. On hearing his passing, it was very sad, I knew he was sick for a while and one of the things that hurt the most was that. I don’t know how to explain how it feels but it hurts. You know a lot of times people like him don’t get a lot of recognition for their work because it was at the youth level but he was a great father figure.” Colin StuartGCB TDO, former Guyana and West Indies fast bowler“I would say Harold was a people’s person who was clearly interested in the well-being and cricketing development of youths. Obviously, discipline was big on his agenda, punctuality, manners, dressing and commitment to the game. Transferring practice knowledge into games was a key element of his development process. If you think about the old school way, then you will get an idea of Harold. He facilitated the coaching process and would at times used talented players like Garfield Charles who always shared his knowledge with me. Having played for Malteenoes, my cricketing interaction with him is a bit limited but he was clearly a friendly and compassionate person to all youths. Vishaul SinghGCC, Guyana and West Indies batsman“For me, `Skip’ as he was known by most was a disciplinarian…as a youngster coming up in the GCC nursery, he taught you about discipline from a young age and all aspects of the word too from punctuality to etiquette to personal hygiene and the list goes on. He was someone who was very passionate about the game and willing to pass on every bit of knowledge he had to his students…he liked me and my style so he never really punished me.” Jailall RamnauthGCC barman since 1988“What I remember of Mr. Dhanraj as a long-standing member of GCC, when he came to the bar he would have a Banks beer to start and then he said after that let me get a Courvoisier and coke. Everyone around the bar would start to laugh because you don’t drink that liquor with coke, you drink it straight…he was a very dedicated coach, cricketer and friend especially when we played against Everest and DCC. He was always serious with the XI that was picked and he ensured they played the game for GCC to win and he loved to bowl.”Richard Jodah GCC Club Captain and  former player“Doc has always being a role model for most of the youths of GCC. He was very unselfish. He helped a lot of youths assisting them with finances, gear, medicine, he was very disciplined guy. He had a great personality when dealing with kids, although he would rough them up they were up under him. He had a special chemistry with kids, his service will be missed…I recall playing in a second-division game and I didn’t know he was a serious guy when it comes to his bowling and if you don’t take a catch for him he wouldn’t talk until the game finished and if you misfielded, you’d get the silent treatment, although he was big, he took the game serious and at the end of the day he would call you and buy a round for everyone. He was a keen bowler and I also remember one day the decided to bowl and the fast bowler marked his run up and he started stretch and Doc said the pitch going to take spin so I’m going to open the bowling and the fast bowler got mad and only bowled in the afternoon but he was a real character, he made a lot of jokes and you were comfortable around him. He loved to bowl and was very serious with hygiene and manners.Leon Johnson GCC, Guyana captain and West Indies batsman“Skip was a very influential figure in my upbringing in the sport. When I first joined GCC he was in charge of the juniors and recommended to the manager then, Ivor Mendonca that I start training with the bigger boys and the rest is history really…he would have coached a fleet of players who went on to play for Guyana and the West Indies, He was a disciplinarian, his methods of coaching were straight out of the ‘old’ school but were very effective. He also captained us in a lot of second-division games and once famously told a player he will move the Sun the next time so he could see the ball and catch it. He left a legacy at GCC and was surely missed when he left due to illness and will be missed even more now.”last_img

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