Ramakant Achrekar, the celebrated cricket coach credited for discovering Sachin Tendulkar, died Wednesday. He was 87 and, according to a family member, 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 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 the Padmashri award in 2010.
Besides Tendulkar, he also coached some prominent players like Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.