Mumbai, January 2: India cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli's childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday (January 2).
Born in 1932, Achrekar and played a significant role in shaping up the career of India's most popular cricketer over the years.
He was a respected coach who trained young cricketers at Mumbai's Shivaji Park in Dadar. Tendulkar, who went on to become one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever witnessed, has always credited Achrekar Sir for his success.
Tendulkar, the only cricketer who holds the record of scoring 100 tons in the international cricket and the first male batsman to slam a double century in the ODIs, always visited Achrekar sir on Teacher's Day and Guru Purnima to highlight the importance of a good coach.
Achrekar was bestowed with the prestigious Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches in sports and games in 1990. In the year 2010, Achrekar was also honoured with the Padma Shri, country's fourth highest civilian honour, for his service towards the sport.
Achrekar Sir was also felicitated with the lifetime achievement award, along with South African batting legend and former India coach, Gary Kirsten, by Sports Illustrated.
In his biopic 'Sachin - A Billion Dreams', the Indian cricketing legend narrated how Achrekar Sir would take him from one ground to the other on his scooter to help his pupil get batting practice in his early days.
This is how the cricketing world and fans reacted to the news of Achrekar Sir's demise:
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. pic.twitter.com/mK0nQODo6b— BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019
Apart from @sachin_rt , Chandu Pandit, Praveen Amre, Vinod Kambli, Amol Muzumdar, Ajit Agarkar, Sameer Dighe and Ramesh Powar were some other international and first class players mentored by Ramakant Acharekar— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 2, 2019
Very very sad news: Ramakant Acharekar, the man who was a guru to many Indian test stars, starting with the legendary @sachin_rt is no more.. will never forget him on his scooter, cap on, ready smile;— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 2, 2019
Incredible passion for game.. Mumbai’s maidan cricket loses a Colossus RIP
One of the most revered and celebrated teachers of sports produced by India who mentored God of cricket @sachin_rt and @vinodkambli349 and many others, #RamakantAchrekar leaves us forever! Will be remembered till the world remembers Sachin!— BVS Ravi (@BvsRavi) January 2, 2019