Former Indian cricketer and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar died on Wednesday at the age of 87. He was regarded as one of the greatest coach for cricket who ever lived in India. The Dronacharya awardee coached some of the greats of Indian cricket and Tendulkar was one of them.
He also produced the likes of Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Amol Mazumdar, Sameer Hegde and Ramesh Powar among others. He was the man who romanticised Mumbai’s maidans and was known for making little boys fall in love with the game.
Tendulkar on several occasions threw insights on how Achrekar played an integral role in making him the cricketer, he is. One such instance was in December 2011, it was Archrekar’s 79th birthday when some of his students gathered in Mumbai to celebrate and relive the old times.
Tendulkar too shared a story, where he revealed how a slap from Achrekar sir changed his life forever. When he was a child, he too loved to watch matches at the stadium and during those days, the Harris Shield used to be on of popular tournaments in Mumbai.
Tendulkar decided to ditch practice for Harris Shield final between Shardashram English medium boys vs Shardashram Hindi medium boys. While Tendulkar was in stadium watching the match and cheering for his team, he spotted his coach and went to greet him. He said, “I told him that, I thought that I would skip the match in order to cheer for our team. I got a late-cut (tight slap) on my face. The tiffin box in my hand flew and all its contents spread across.”
“At that time, sir told me ‘you don’t have to be here to cheer for others. Play in such a way that others cheer for you’. Since that day, I began practising very hard and put in a lot of hours. If not for that day, I might have been cheering for others from the stands,” he added.