The felicitation of former India captain Chandu Borde on his 75th birthday in Pune saw batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar reminiscing his 1989 debut tour of Pakistan where Borde, as the coach, introduced him to the cricketing world.
"Chandu Sir guided me through the difficulties a 16 year old was expected to undergo on his first appearance on a foreign tour. He told me how to improve upon mistakes without disturbing my natural game technique and instincts," Tendulkar said on Tuesday night, in an overwhelming expression of gratitude to Borde, who served Indian cricket in various capacities.
Tendulkar recalled Borde's contribution to his shaping as a cricketer on the debut tour and said the gentle way in which the former all-rounder gave him useful tips in the nets boosted his confidence.
"What Chandu Sir did for me then came from his passion for the game. He never expected any public acknowledgment of what he did for me or wished for anything in return," said international cricket's most prolific scorer.
The master blaster further went on to recount the more recent stint of Borde, one of the most valuable all-rounders of the Indian Test squad from 1958 to 1970, as an administrator when he accompanied the Indian team as manager for the 2007 tour of England.
"We needed somebody who could calm the nerves and Chandu sir did exactly that. He played a big role in our success in the 2007 Ireland and England tour. We should remember that although credit for victories is given to cricketers, there are many like him who give the backroom support," Tendulkar felt.
Former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar hailed Borde's "selfless" spirit of the game, saying he "gave me confidence" on many occasions during my playing days.
Bapu Nadkarni, former Test player and Borde's contemporary said cricket was embedded in Borde's blood.
"You ask him to execute an on-drive and a square cut and even today he would do it in a copy book style," he said.
In his reply, Borde recalled how he had failed to perform in his first two Test matches.
"My career was at stake. I prayed to god in a hotel room in Chennai during course of the Test. That sincere prayer and faith in god proved to be the turning point in my life as I progressed making a century in the next Test," said Borde, who also served as the chief selector of Indian cricket.
Among those who spoke at the function, organised by Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) included film actor Nana Patekar and retired justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari.