The new year has begun on a sad note for the cricketing fraternity as it lost one of its favourite teachers – Ramakant Achrekar. The famous teacher died at a ripe age of 86 at his residence on Wednesday. Achrekar’s last rites will be performed on Thursday morning.
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
Ramakant Achrekar served as a cricket coach on the Mumbai maidans for more than four three decades until he was paralysed in the late 1990s. He gave India a host of stars including Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Chandrakant Pandit, Lalchand Rajput, Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe, Ajit Agarkar, Paras Mhambrey, Ramesh Powar. His most famous disciple, however, was the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Time and again Tendulkar had reiterated Achrekar’s contribution in his career.
And he paid a glowing tribute to his coach once again, saying:
“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.”
In recognition of his contribution as coach, Ramakant Achrekar was honoured with the Dronacharya Award in 1990. Later in 2010, he was awarded the Padma Shri.
After being a regular on the Mumbai maidans in the 1940s and 1950s, he founded the Kamath Memorial Cricket Club at Shivaji Park in Dadar. At Shivaji Park, he helped youngster develop their games. The journey came to an end when he had a paralytic attack in the late 1990s. Achrekar was hailed in the Mumbai cricketing circle for his selflessness.
Meanwhile, cricketing fratnerity was quick to pay tribute to Achrekar. Here are some of the messages:
Sad to hear about the passing of Achrekar Sir. Man who instilled grit & discipline in Mumbai cricket 🏏
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) January 2, 2019
Ramakant Achrekar is no more. Deepest condolensces to the family and to his students including Sachin Pravin Amre and Atul Ranade. Will forever live in peoples hearts in India. Thanks Sir for all you did for Indian cricket.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 2, 2019
My heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Ramakant Achrekar, to Sachin, and to all those close to him. We will always remember him with great fondness and respect for his contribution to Indian cricket.
May his soul rest in peace.
— Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) January 2, 2019
Saddened at the demise of Achrekar Sir. Nothing will ever replace his valuable contribution to the lives of many young cricketers who trained under his guidance. pic.twitter.com/Y1H9eaaOSB
— Surya Kumar Yadav (@surya_14kumar) January 2, 2019
You will always be remembered as one of the finest cricketing minds, #RamakantAchrekar sir. Thank you for giving us the gift that is @sachin_rt and inspiring millions others. You will be missed. Thoughts & prayers with the family. pic.twitter.com/zyJLr528VM
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) January 2, 2019
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 2, 2019
Sad to know that Ramakant Achrekar sir is no more. My homage to the great soul and condolences to the family. #Achrekarsir
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) January 2, 2019