As news trickled in that Sachin Tendulkar had announced his retirement, his childhood coach, Ramakant Achrekar, sat glued to the television, watching each visual intently.
It was Achrekar’s astute coaching that gave the world a talented young cricketer who broke every imaginable record in the game. Today, as he comes to terms with the news of his protégé’s retirement, he is waiting to watch Tendulkar in action one last time.
Communicating through his daughter, Kalpana Murkar, Achrekar said that the retirement should be a happy occasion as Tendulkar had decided to call it a day on his own terms.
“The joy of watching Sachin walk in to bat is always special. I am excited and want to watch his 200th Test. Above all, I am happy he is going out on his own terms. All I want to do is watch him bat one last time,” Achrekar said.
“He has been an integral part of Sachin’s cricketing life and now he wants to watch him play one last time. So, we are planning to take him to the Wankhede Stadium when the match takes place,” Kalpana said.
Achrekar was Tendulkar’s first coach when he was just 11-years-old. He was the individual who helped the young Tendulkar hone his skills in the maidans of Mumbai.
Tendulkar has since continued his relationship with the coach, visiting him regularly, and has promised Achrekar that he will visit him before he plays his last match.
“Sachin visited us twice last month, during Ganesh Utsav and Gurupurnima. He has said that he will visit us before he starts his last series,” said Kalpana.
As Sachin readies himself to take a final bow, it is only fitting that he does it in the presence of his original master.