Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli's childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday evening.
Achrekar was the person who honed Sachin's talent at an early stage of his career. He was conferred with Dronacharya Award in the year 1990, an award presented to coaches for their outstanding work in the field of sports in India. Besides Tendulkar, he also coached some prominent players like Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe, Balwinder Singh Sandhu among others.
He had been battling old age-related ailments for the past few days. "He (Archrekar Sir) is no more with us. He passed away this evening," his kin Rashmi Dalvi told PTI over the phone.
Achrekar competed in just one first-class match in his playing career but discovered and shaped the biggest batsman in international cricket after Sir Donald Bradman in Tendulkar.
Tendulkar, who is now retired, owns almost all the batting records that were there for the taking in the game, including the highest runs in Tests (15,921) and ODIs (18,426).
Achrekar is best known for being his childhood coach and has always been acknowledged by the celebrated right-hander for the role he played in shaping his career as a child.
Tendulkar was coached by Achrekar at the Shivaji Park here.
"Sir did not say well-played to me ever, (but) I knew (when) Sir has taken me to have bhelpuri or paani-puri, Sir is happy, I have done something nice on the field," Tendulkar had said last year at an event while recalling Achrekar's contribution in making him the cricketer he became.
Achrekar was bestowed with the Padmashri award in 2010.
Ramakant Achrekar Sir passes away.
Deepest Condolences to the family from Mumbai Cricket Association.
— Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) (@MumbaiCricAssoc) January 2, 2019
Tendulkar and Kambli never forgot to visit Achrekar on Teachers' Day.
Happy #TeachersDay! The lessons you taught me have always served me well. Sharing an incident with you all that changed my life! pic.twitter.com/J1izUvPG3C — Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 5, 2017
Tendulkar once reminisced an account with his coach in a video posted on social media. He had said, "Back in my school days, I used to play only for the junior team and our senior team was playing the Harris Shield finals at the Wankhede Stadium. And our coach Ramakant Achrekar sir had organised a practice match for me. He had told me to go there after school and bat at number four. He said he had spoken to the captain and you would not need to field. That used to be my training. That was important because you needed to figure out your game there and figure out how to score runs in the middle."
With inputs from PTI