Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli’s childhood coach, Ramakant Achrekar passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday at his Shivaji Park residence in Dadar in Central Mumbai. Achrekar was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010 and the Dronacharya Award in 1990 for his contribution to cricket as coach. Archrekar, who died due to age-related ailments, had his last rites performed on Thursday with his most famous disciple Sachin Tendulkar in attendance.
Archrekar’s body was kept at Shivaji Park where he had coached several eminent cricketers before being taken to a nearby crematorium. He was given the guard of honor by a group of young boys who chanted ‘Amar Rahe’ as his body was being taken to the crematorium. Vinod Kambli, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Chandrakant Pandit were also part of the procession led by none other than Tendulkar himself.
Watch the video of the procession here:
Mumbai cricketers such as Atul Ranade, Amol Mazumdar Ramesh Powar, Paras Mhambrey, Ranji coach Vinayak Samant, Nilesh Kulkarni, Vinod Raghvan, were also present at the funeral. Former Rajasthan coach Pradeep Sundaram, office-bearers of the Mumbai Cricket Association, veteran cricket administrator Prof Ratnakar Shetty were among the other eminent personalities present at the crematorium to pay their last respects to the Dronacharya and Padma Shri award-winning coach. Reknowned politicians such as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, MLA and BJP leader Ashish Shelar, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar also paid their tributes to the Archrekar at his funeral.
Sachin Tendulkar, who never used to miss the slightest opportunity to honour his childhood coach, took to Twitter to pay tribute to the man after his demise.
“Cricket in heaven will be enriched with the presence of Achrekar sir. Like many of his students, I learnt my ABCD of cricket under Sir’s guidance. His contribution to my life cannot be captured in words. He built the foundation that I stand on,” Tendulkar’s message read.
One thing that the batting great had done without fail on Guru Purnima almost every year was seeking blessings and wish the man who shaped his cricket career. The 45 year old was once again spotted in tears as his beloved guru’s last rites were being performed on Thursday. Tears rolled down his eyes as he carried the mortal remains of his childhood father-figure on his shoulders during his funeral.
Watch the video here: