Tributes pour in for Ramakant Achrekar


03 Jan, 2019 8:39 am

NEW DELHI (92 News) – India legend Sachin Tendulkar led the tributes for his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar, who was the force behind several of India’s top cricketers from Mumbai.

Achrekar, who had been ill for some time, passed away at his Mumbai residence on Wednesday, 3 January. He was 86.

A formidable coach, Achrekar could claim among his students a number of Indian men’s internationals, most prominently Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Chandrakant Pandit, Lalchand Rajput, Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe, Ajit Agarkar, Paras Mhambrey and Ramesh Powar.

 

He was known to be a strict disciplinarian and hard taskmaster, accepting few excuses from his students – and earned nothing but respect and gratitude from them. His contributions earned him the ‘Dronacharya Award’, a national award given to top coaches, as well as the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in India.

“Cricket in heaven will be enriched with the presence of Achrekar sir,” Tendulkar said in a statement. “Like many of his students, I learnt my ABCD of cricket under sir’s guidance. His contribution to my life cannot be captured in words. He built the foundation that I stand on.

 

“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 said.

 

“He was a special man. Many of us got to know Mumbai by riding on his scooter all over Mumbai for playing matches,” Ajit Agarkar told The Hindu. “Just look at the list of players who have trained under him and it won’t take more than a minute to realise he was pretty special. Sometimes it’s hard to explain how someone can be that selfless.”

The Indian team, playing the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney, wore black bands as a mark of respect.

“The BCCI expresses its deepest sympathy on the passing of Dronacharya award-winning guru Shri Ramakant Achrekar. Not only did he produce great cricketers, but also trained them to be fine human beings. His contribution to Indian Cricket has been immense,” the board said.

 



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