As a cricketer, he only played one first-class game but he gained a prominent reputation in the 1980s for his coaching. Padma Shri Ramakant Archer passed away at his Mumbai home.
In the 1980s, many who trained under coach Achrekar were seen to be performing well in the Mumbai local Cricket scene. And then Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India. Achrekar’s name was made immortal that very day.
He was Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli first coach and both made their entry to the international scene gloriously. Years down the line, Sachin Tendulkar has always credited his first coach as his guru and greatest guide. Apart from Sachin and Kambli he also mentored other prominent Indian players. Chandu Pandit, Pravin Amre, Amol Muzumdar, Ajit Agarkar, Sameer Dighe and Ramesh Powar are amongst the other first-class and International players whom Achrekar had mentored.
Achrekar was bestowed with the Dronacharya Award in the year 1990. By that, he became only the third from the field of cricket to be offered the honor. Twenty years later, in 2010, he was awarded the Padma Shri – the fourth highest civilian honor in India.
The BCCI expressed their grief over this loss via Twitter:
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
Some International cricketers took to Twitter to pay their tribute the “Dronacharya” of Indian Cricket:
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
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 2, 2019
Relationship with Sachin Tendulkar
Last year on Teacher’s Day, Tendulkar revealed how he was disciplined by his guru Ramakant Achrekar throughout his childhood. Sachin acknowledged that it helped keep his career on the right path. Tendulkar was always up with pranks and his Guru provided the unswerving regulation that was absolutely unnecessary to shape up his career. Tendulkar also revealed how his coach took him to practice giving him a ride on his scooter. He recollected an incident wherein his revered coach scolded him in front of a bunch of people at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“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,” Tendulkar said in a video posted as a tribute to Achrekar on Teachers’ Day.
“And our coach Ramakant Achrekar sir had organized 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.”