Ramakant Achrekar, the individual who coached Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, has died at the age of 87 in Mumbai. Tendulkar, who scored 18426 runs in ODIs and 15926 runs in Tests, is considered to be one of the greatest player in the modern era. Earlier in the year, Tendulkar had said coaches are like gurus. “Coaches, gurus are like our parents, because we end up spending so much time with them, we learn so many things from them,” Tendulkar said at a book release function here. During the release of a book on child health-care for parents, “Even When There Is A Doctor”, authored by Dr Yashwant Amdekar, Dr Rajesh Chouhan and Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Tendulkar spoke about the methods of Achrekar.
“(Achrekar) Sir was strict at times, extremely strict and also caring and loving. Sir did not say well-played to me ever, (but) I knew (when) Sir has taken me to have bhel-puri or paani-puri, Sir is happy, I have done something nice on the field,” he said. Tendulkar was coached by Ramakant Achrekar at Shivaji Park in Dadar, central Mumbai.
“I was a naughty child, difficult to manage....I was extremely lucky to have a balanced family, my father who was always extremely calm, who never got angry, agitated, and so did my mother...they gave me freedom, pampered me, but never spoiled me,” he recollected. “When the situation demanded to be firm they were firm,” Tendulkar added.
One of the major reasons for what I am today! Happy birthday Ramakant Achrekar sir :) Thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/hYV7jbtQ39— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 3, 2016
He also recollected an instance from childhood which, he said, taught him to use freedom with responsibility. “I must have been 13 or so when I had to go to Indore to attend a national camp for a month and those were the days when mobiles were not available. I was going for a month and my mother was worried, and my father was telling her that he is the sharpest and cleverest among all of us, he knows, he is mature guy, I felt brilliant...with that freedom somewhere (in) my subconscious mind it registered that with freedom comes responsibility and I should not misuse my freedom,” he said.
Following his 40th birthday in 2013, Achrekar had given Tendulkar his blessings by saying the Indian batsman would live happily as long as he plays. Speaking on behalf of the 80-year-old Dronacharya award winning coach, who is not keeping well after his hip bone fracture, daughter Kalpana told PTI: "My blessings are always there with him."
"May he's blessed with more and more runs. I want to see him play long and really long. He will live happily as long as he plays. Cricket is his passion," Achrekar said through Kalpana.
Tendulkar had paid a visit to Achrekar whom he considers his guru ahead of the Australia series, which India won 4-0. "He along with (wife) Anjali had come to meet Baba. They spent some time quietly chatting," she said. Achrekar keenly follows every game that Tendulkar plays.
"He sits right in front of the TV set and does not move when Tendulkar bats. He is eagerly waiting for the match on his birthday," she added.
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.
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