Ramakant Achrekar, coach of Sachin Tendulkar, passes away in Mumbai
Ramakant Achrekar, Sachin Tendulkar’s coach, has died aged 87. Achrekar was born in 1932 and played a key role in shaping up Tendulkar’s career over the years.
Achrekar was a respected coach who trained young cricketers at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park in Dadar. His most famous pupil, Sachin Tendulkar, went on to become the greatest batsman in the history of the game.
Tendulkar who debuted in 1989, became the firs man to score 100 international hundreds and an ODI double hundred. He is also the only cricketer to play 200 Test matches.
Tendulkar, who scored 34357 runs, the most by any batsman, owed his cricketing success to Achrekar, who he considered to be his guru.
Every year during Teacher’s Day, Tendulkar would go to meet his old coach and pay his respects.
In 1990, Achrekar was honoured with the Dronacharya Award for Outstanding coaches in Sports and Games. He was honoured with one of the country’s highest civilian award, the Padma Shri in 2010.
In the same year, he was honoured the “Lifetime Achievement” award by the Sports Illustrated by Gary Kirsten. Last year on Teacher’s Day, Tendulkar revealed how he was disciplined by Achrekar and that moment put his career on the right track. Young Sachin Tendulkar was a prankster and he needed constant monitoring.
He recalled an incident where his revered coach scolded him in front of a whole lot of people for enjoying a match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai instead of playing a match elsewhere.
“Back in my school days, I used to play only for the junior team and our senior team was playing the Harris Shield finals at the Wankhede Stadium,” Tendulkar said in a video posted as a tribute to Achrekar on Teachers’ Day. “And our coach Ramakant Achrekar sir had organised a practice match for me. He had told me to go there after school and bat at number four. He said he had spoken to the captain and you would not need to field. That used to be my training. That was important because you needed to figure out your game there and figure out how to score runs in the middle.”
Achrekar would take Sachin Tendulkar to different matches across Mumbai on his scooter. The coach’s dedication and foresight helped India unearth a gem who went on to serve the country for a quarter of a century.