Sachin Tendulkar’s childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar, was shocked at his ward’s decision to retire from one-day internationals yesterday.
Under Achrekar’s guidance, Tendulkar learnt the nuances of the game at Dadar’s Shivaji Park. It was on the coach’s insistence that Tendulkar was shifted from IES School, Bandra to Shardashram Vidyamandir (English), Dadar where Achrekar was the school’s coach.
Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989 as a 16-year-old, and played a record 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries.
Ill health and age factor has prevented Dronacharya award-winning coach Achrekar (80) from speaking. So, on his behalf, Achrekar’s daughter Kalpana told MiD DAY: “Baba (my father) was very shocked when he got the news of Sachin’s retirement (from the media). He surely wasn’t expecting it. It was a complete shocker for him. Sachin also did not convey anything (decision to retire) to him.”
Tendulkar and Achrekar share a very close bond. The master batsman has lauded his mentor’s contribution in his cricket on several occasions. The legendary cricketer never fails to call up Achrekar on the occasion of Guru Purnima — a day to pay respect to your teacher.
Achrekar’s daughter revealed that Tendulkar met his Guru only last week. “They did not speak about his (Tendulkar’s) cricket. He generally comes to see him whenever he is here.
“But Baba did urge him to continue to play. There was no talk on his retirement as well,” she informed.
Tendulkar was under the scanner of late. Several experts, including Sunil Gavaskar had brought up Tendulkar’s slowing reflexes. The sight of being bowled through the gate — an indication that the end is near — was becoming a growing concern of late.
In the last Test series, the batting maestro mustered only 112 runs in four matches against England at home.