New Delhi: “Cricket in heaven will be enriched with the presence of (Ramakant) Achrekar sir,” said iconic former batsman Sachin Tendulkar as he paid an emotional tribute to his childhood coach who passed away Wednesday.
Achrekar, 87, died in Mumbai due to age-related ailments. “Like many of his students, I learnt my ABCD of cricket under Sir’s guidance,” the Dronacharya awardee’s most famous ward said in a statement. “His contribution to my life cannot be captured in words. He built the foundation that I stand on,” he added.
Tendulkar, unarguably the greatest batsman in modern cricket, was coached by Achrekar at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai’s Dadar as a child. The iconic cricketer, who is now retired, has been quite vocal about Achrekar’s contribution in shaping him.
As a player, Achrekar competed in just one first-class match, but was instrumental in moulding Tendulkar as a child, often driving him to stadiums on his scooter.
“Last month, I met Sir along with some of his students and spent some time together. We shared a laugh as we remembered the old times,” Tendulkar said.
“Achrekar sir taught us the virtues of playing straight and living straight. Thank you for making us a part of your life and enriching us with your coaching manual. Well played Sir and may you coach more wherever you are,” he signed off.
Late Wednesday night, Tendulkar visited Achrekar’s house in Trimurti building near the Shivaji Park to pay his last respects.