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Rediff.com  » Cricket » No Sachin but Kambli attends felicitation event for 'Guru' Achrekar

No Sachin but Kambli attends felicitation event for 'Guru' Achrekar

July 09, 2017 20:22 IST

Former India and Mumbai cricketers Pravin Amre and Chandrakant Pandit among others felicitate coach par excellence Ramakant Archrekar at a function to mark 'Guru Purnima' on in Mumbai on Sunday

IMAGE: Former India and Mumbai cricketers Pravin Amre and Chandrakant Pandit among others felicitate coach par excellence Ramakant Archrekar at a function to mark 'Guru Purnima' on in Mumbai on Sunday. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

He has coached several cricketers from the 1983 World Cup squad member Balwinder Singh Sandhu to the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar who have represented India at the international level.

On the occasion of 'Guru Purnima' on Sunday, the students fondly recalled the contribution of their mentor Ramakant Achrekar, fondly called 'Achrekar Sir'.

The octogenarian was felicitated at a programme 'Guru Vandana' organised by Deeplo Sports Club in Mumbai in presence of his several students.

Former India batsman Praveem Amre, who had scored a hundred on his debut, said he was under Achrekar Sir for 10 years.

"There was no off-season with sir as we played with rubber ball during the monsoons. He has created good coaches along with good players. In my opinion, sir was a 'Guru' and there is a lot of difference between a 'Guru' and a 'coach'," said Amre, who played 11 Tests for the country.

Former India stumper and batsman Chandrakant Pandit recalled how "visionary" Achrekar sir made him change his school to pursue a career in cricket.

Another ex-stumper Sameer Dighe remembered the role played by the veteran trainer in his career.

 Former India cricketer Vinod Kambli (centre) was also part of the entourage that saluted his coach Ramakant Archrekar

IMAGE: Former India cricketer Vinod Kambli (centre) was also part of the event to salute coach Ramakant Archrekar. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

"Pravin (Amre) used to keep wickets. But on sir's word, for me, he left keeping when I was playing for Mithibai (College)," recalled Dighe, the present Mumbai Ranji coach.

Balwinder Singh Sandhu recalled that he was initially an off spinner, but it was Achrekar who spotted his talent to bowl good in-swing.

"Till that time, I did not know that the ball was called an in-swing," Sandhu said, sending the audience into peals of laughter

"It was sir who asked me to develop the in-swing," he added.

Pandurang Salgoankar, who had played with Achrekar, narrated some instances, involving the latter as a wicket-keeper.

However, Sachin Tendulkar could not make it to the event as he was abroad.

Another former India player Vinod Kambli arrived later and sought blessing of Achrekar.

A citation was presented to Achrekar for his contribution to the game by the students amid chanting of hymns by the priests of the Sri Siddhivinayak Temple.

It was also announced that the work on making a film on Achrekar was in progress and a teaser of the said movie was screened at the event.

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