“The first thing Tendulkar asked me when he came into the President’s Box to meet his mother was: ‘Where is sir?’” Achrekar’s daughter Kalpana told SUNDAY MiD DAY.
Expecting an overwhelming response from the Wankhede crowd, Kalpana sensed her father would find it difficult to cope with the prevailing atmosphere, so she deemed fit that he stay at home and watch the proceedings on TV.
“I feared for his health looking at the emotions around. He was already quite excited when Tendulkar scored a half-century on Friday. With the way he was clapping, he attracted the attention of half of the people in the President’s Box,” said Kalpana.
“When Tendulkar got out, he cried. Looking at that I felt it was better he stayed at home today.” Meanwhile, Tendulkar thanked Achrekar profusely after the win over the West Indies yesterday.
He said in his farewell speech: “My cricket career started when I was 11. The turning point of my career was when my brother (Ajit) took me to Achrekar sir.
“I was extremely delighted to see him up in the stands. Normally he sits in front of the television and he watches all the games that I play.
“When I was 11-12, those were the days when I used to hop back on his scooter and play a couple of practice matches in a day.
“In the first half of the innings I would be batting at Shivaji Park, the second half, at some other match in Azad Maidan. He would take me all over Mumbai to make sure I got match practice,” said Tendulkar.