Sachin Tendulkar will have a very special guest at the Wankhede Stadium for his farewell Test apart from his mother Rajni. The batting maestro has invited his childhood coach and cricket guru Ramakant Achrekar to be present at the ground for his 200th Test from November 14 to 18.
The batting legend made a surprise visit to his coach’s house at Shivaji Park on Saturday to seek Achrekar’s blessings before embarking on his final international series, starting November 6 against the West Indies at Kolkata.
“Sachin and his wife Anjali came in the morning. They were around for an hour and a half. Sachin came to seek his coach’s blessings. He also came to invite him for his last international match,” Achrekar’s daughter Kalpana Murkar told SUNDAY MiD DAY. Ill health has prevented Achrekar from talking.
Tendulkar’s guests from around the world are expected at the Wankhede Stadium to witness his landmark Test. He had wished to play his final match on his home ground so that his mother Rajni could witness the batting great play. Achrekar would be given a seat in the President’s box where Tendulkar’s mother would also be seated.
“Sachin enquired whether the MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) has made any arrangements for Achrekar. So far, we have not heard anything from them. Anjali will pick my father up for the game,” Murkar said. Tendulkar is taking active interest in the arrangements for his 200th Test.
He has ordered a ramp for his mother’s wheelchair which will help her reach the President’s box. Tendulkar was seen talking to MCA officials regarding the seating arrangements during a recent Ranji Trophy practice session. MCA decided to provide Tendulkar 500 tickets and a 20-seater corporate box for his guests.
Achrekar, a Dronacharya awardee, coached Tendulkar at Shardashram Vidyamandir, Dadar. “Sachin had a conversation with him (Achrekar). He did not look emotional considering this is his last series. In fact, we all became emotional.
“He really shocked us by announcing his retirement. I was planning to decorate the entrance of the house when he comes this time to meet my father. But he spoilt my plans with his surprise visit,” Murkar said with a smile.