Veteran cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar, who is credited with shaping the early career of Sachin Tendulkar, died on Wednesday.
The Dronacharya awardee was 87 and a family member told news agency PTI that he passed away owing to old-age related ailments. He breathed his last at his residence in Mumbai at 6.30 PM.
“He [Achrekar] is no more with us. He passed away this evening,” his kin Rashmi Dalvi told the agency over phone.
Achrekar coached many young players at Shivaji Park in Dadar. His most famous student, Sachin Tendulkar went on to become a cricketing legend and is among the country’s most famous sportspersons.
Tendulkar also acknowledged him as his mentor and visited him every year on Teacher’s Day.
Besides Tendulkar, Achrekar has also coached players such as Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe, Ramesh Powar and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.
Back in 2010, Achrekar was conferred with a Padma Shri, one of the highest civilain awards in the country. He was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sports Illustrated magazine the same year.
After the news of his demise broke, several cricketers and other sports personalities took to social media to express condolences and thank the ‘coach’ for his invaluable contribution to Indian cricket.
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 2, 2019
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 2, 2019
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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