Achrekar sir won't be watching Sachin bat at Brabourne

Published: Dec 02, 2009, 07:19 IST | Clayton Murzello & Amol Karhadkar |

22 years ago, Achrekar was delidghted when CCI roped in Sachin Tendulkar as a playing member because he wanted his ward to play regular Club cricket on a test ground. However, the ill coach cannot make it to watch Sachin's maiden test at the Brabourne stadium today

22 years ago, Achrekar was delidghted when CCI roped in Sachin Tendulkar as a playing member because he wanted his ward to play regular Club cricket on a test ground. However, the ill coach cannot make it to watch Sachin's maiden test at the Brabourne stadium today

There's Tendlya: Sachin Tendulkar's coach Ramakant Achrekar points to a picture of the 1986-87 Harris Shield-winning Shardashram team in a book yesterday. pic/sameer markande

Just last month, former and present players along with the media dished out several examples to illustrate Sachin Tendulkar's longevity in the game when he completed 20 years of international cricket.

Test cricket returning to the Cricket Club of India offers one another opportunity to underscore Tendulkar's vast experience in the game.

Twenty-two years ago, his coach Ramakant Achrekar permitted the Cricket Club of India to rope in Tendulkar as a playing member.

Way back...
The team bosses had approached Achrekar in 1986 but the Shivaji Park coach said he was not yet ready for 'A' division cricket. Hemant Kenkre, who was Tendulkar's captain at CCI told MiD DAY yesterday that Achrekar agreed to let Tendulkar play the following year for the Churchgate club.

"We were playing Shivaji Park Youngsters at the Shivaji Park Gymkhana and as I landed up for the game, there was a message for me to meet Achrekar at his nets.

"He told me Sachin is ready for 'A' division cricket and he was happy for CCI to include him in their ranks because he wanted Sachin to play regularly at a Test venue, which would have a good wicket.

"I don't want him to develop any bad habits which will affect his technique. That's why CCI will be good for him, he told me," said Singapore-based Kenkre, who has come down just to witness the resumption of Test cricket at the famous ground.

Sadly, Achrekar cannot witness his ward's maiden Test match at the CCI. The 75-year-old coach has hardly watched cricket from the stands in the last decade, especially after being partially paralysed in 1998.

According to a family member, though he can walk around, he finds it difficult to sit for long. "I prefer watching matches on television now. It allows me some rest whenever I feel it's necessary," Achrekar said at his Shivaji Park residence yesterday.

Watchful eyes
It is not known whether the coach ever watched Tendulkar bat at the Brabourne Stadium but he had the habit of watching his lads from points where they would not notice him.

"Those three to four years under him were really important for my development.

"He would hide behind trees to see our games, and then point out the errors later on. We (players) would have fun but it was guarded," Tendulkar said recently.

Though fading memory prevents the coach from recalling Tendulkar's tryst with CCI, his eyes sparkle when he sees the Sharadashram English schoolboys lifting Tendulkar after the master's heroic triple ton in the 1986-87 Harris Shield final in which Tendulkar scored 346 against Anjuman-E-Islam.

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