File photo of Sachin Tendulkar greeting his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar.

Master Blaster’s Master No More: Ramakant Achrekar Passes Away

The man who crafted the genius behind one of India’s all-time greats is no more.

Ramakant Achrekar, childhood coach of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, died in Mumbai on Wednesday, 2 January.

Achrekar, 86, passed away owing to old-age related ailments, as confirmed by family member Rashmi Dalvi to PTI.

A Dronacharya awardee, he will fondly be remembered in Indian cricket folklore as the man who mentored Tendulkar through his growing years before the Master Blaster debuted for India as a 16-year-old in 1989.

“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.

Born in 1932, Achrekar had a fledgling playing career, taking the field in only one first-class match for all-India State Bank against Hyderabad in 1963/64, but built a burgeoning reputation as a coach to thousands of budding cricketers spanning generations at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park.

He was bestowed the Padmashri award in 2010.

Other prominent cricketers to have been tutored by Achrekar before going on to play for India iclude Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, Sameer Dighe and Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

(With inputs from PTI)