Pradeep Sangwan didn't pay heed to my advice: Manoj Prabhakar

Pradeep Sangwan failed a dope test on Thursday © Getty Images

By Arun Nayal

New Delhi: Jul 19, 2013

Former India seamer and Delhi coach Manoj Prabhakar is livid that Pradeep Sangwan “never bothered” to listen to his advice against spending hours at the gymnasium to build upper-body muscles.

“Nobody was there to advice him about right and wrong. I used to tell him repeatedly that don’t work out so much on your upper body muscles as it will affect your bowling. You will become an ordinary bowler. But he did not find it fit to listen to my advice,” Prabhakar told PTI on Friday when asked to comment about the dope-tainted cricketer.

One of the pioneers in swing bowling during his heydays, Prabhakar has been vocal about young bowlers trying to get “six-pack abs”.

“Building body has become fashionable these days. Cricketers are more bothered about their looks and IPL is to be blamed for this. Once I asked Sangwan, ‘What are you preparing for days’ cricket or night parties?'” Prabhakar, who was the bowling coach and later chief coach of the Delhi team said.

Prabhakar is sad that no one could ever convince Sangwan that merely possessing muscular and broad shoulders doesn’t increase the pace in one’s deliveries.

“He used tell me that this physique will help [him] bowl at 140kmph. I had told him that time he wouldn’t be able to even get to 130 kmph mark and I was right. His bulging body did not allow him to swing the ball,” explained Prabhakar.

Prabhakar said he was also surprised at the way a talented pacer like Sangwan spoiled himself.

“He was a brilliant prospect. He used to regularly swing the ball and was very effective. I have not seen an athlete like him. He was so consistent that I used feel he would make India debut before Ishant Sharma. But his slump in form is disappointing,” he lamented.

“A pacer requires strength in his lower body. Upper body gymming is a curse for a fast bowler. I told him don’t use weights to train for upper body,” he added.

Former India seamer and current Delhi coach Sanjeev Sharma, who was also the chairman of junior selection committee when Sangwan made it to the India U-19 team, is clueless as to how this has happened.

Sharma in his own way tried to analyse what went wrong with the burly Najafgarh lad who was once considered India prospect.

“At the U-19 level, BCCI used ‘SG Tournament’ balls which have a more pronounced seam than ‘SG Test balls’. SG Tournament balls swings more and for a guy with a round arm action like Sangi (Sangwan) it was easier to bring the ball back into the right-hander,” Sharma said.

“The moment the transition from U-19 to First-Class with the SG Test balls a lot of seamers find it difficult to swing the new ball. The same problem happened with Sangwan as his form dipped and he didn’t have effectiveness with old ball,” he analysed.

Sharma, however, is hopeful that Sangwan would be able recover from this low and regain his form.

“Sangwan is a hard working bowler and I hope if he gets sanctioned it’s not a hefty one. If it’s a one season ban he can obviously make a comeback. But two years can be tad too difficult,” he said.