The year was 1987, shortly after the Reliance World Cup, when we picked up Sachin to play for CCI at the behest of Achrekar. Sachin was leaving for Pune for an under-15 camp and his pads were stolen. Only two people in Mumbai other than me had ultra-light Morrant pads. Achrekar called to say Sachin is a good cricketer and that he needed pads. I did not think twice about parting with mine.
I captained CCI whenever Sandeep Patil was away playing in Kenya and early in the season, with players away in England we often picked players from Achrekar’s wards.
We were to play Sivaji Park Youngsters and Achrekar told me to have a look at Sachin before picking him for CCI. He scored a brilliant half-century on a rank turner. We wanted to give Sachin playing membership at CCI and had to amend the rules as he was only 15 then!
Once CCI was playing Catholic Gymkhana and their manager asked how he plays under pressure. Sachin, standing next to me, replied “what pressure?”
Sachin’s dad often used to call me to say, “Tell him to study”. Once, after he had begun playing for India, I went to his house. Sachin returned from playing TT to make tea for us and his father asked why he wasn’t studying. I said, “he has already got a Ph.D in cricket”.
(Hemant Kenkre, Sachin’s first captain at CCI, spoke to G Krishnan)