Sachin Tendulkar’s tribute to Ramakant Achrekar in his emotional farewell speech in 2013
Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli’s childhood coach and Padma Shri awardee, Ramakant Achrekar died aged 86 in Mumbai on January 2.
The relationship that Tendulkar shared with Achrekar, whom he fondly called “Achrekar sir”, is well documented and was even brought to the big screens across the globe in his biopic, “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”.
Tendulkar had never missed an opportunity to honour his childhood coach, Ramakant Achrekar. One thing that the batting great had done without fail on Guru Purnima almost every year was seeking blessings and wish the man who shaped his cricket career.
It was no surprise that Tendulkar paid rich tribute to Achrekar during his emotional farewell speech in Mumbai. The World Cup-winning former batsman heaped praise on his childhood coach and shed light on the support he had received even as Archerkar was watching it from the venue, the Wankhede Stadium.
Here’s what Tendulkar had said about his coach during his farewell speech after the two-Test series against the West Indies at home.
“My cricket career started when I was 11. The turning point of my career was when my brother (Ajit) took me to Achrekar sir. I was extremely delighted to see him up in the stands. Normally he sits in front of the television and he watches all the games that I play,” Tendulkar had said.
“When I was 11/12, those were the days when I used to hop back on his scooter and play a couple of practice matches a day. The first half the innings I would be batting at Shivaji Park, the second half, at some other match in Azad Maidan. He would take me all over Mumbai to make sure I got match practice.
“On a lighter note, in the last 29 years, sir has never ever said ‘well played’ to me because he thought I would get complacent and I would stop working hard.
“Maybe he can push his luck and wish me now, well done on my career because there are no more matches, sir, in my life. I will be witnessing cricket, and cricket will always stay in my heart, but you have had an immense contribution to my life, so thank you very much.”