'He has made me proud'
Proud of Sachin Tendulkar's ever-growing list of achievements, mentor Ramakant Achrekar now just wants him to win the World Cup, which is perhaps the only feat that has eluded him till now.
"I am very happy for Sachin. He has not only made me proud but the entire nation is celebrating his feat. I don't think that anybody can ever come near his record," Achrekar told PTI Bhasha.
The 37-year-old has become the only batsman in the world to score half-century of Test centuries during first Test against South Africa at Centurion on Sunday. He is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and One-Day International cricket. He is the only male player to have scored a double century in the history of ODI cricket.
Image: Ramakant Achrekar with Sachin Tendulkar
'I want him to win the next World Cup'
Other than Brian Lara's Test match highest of 400 not out and first class highest score of 501 not out, every other batting record has Tendulkar's name against it. Achrekar, under whose guidance Tendulkar had started his cricketing career at Shardashram Vidya Mandir in Mumbai, still follows his progress on television and also watched him score the historical century on Sunday.
"I was watching the match yesterday. I always try to watch his innings. Everybody was congratulating me as well. I am feeling on the top of the world," said the 78-year-old coach.
The veteran's only wish now is to see Tendulkar winning the World Cup to be held in sub-continent from February 19, 2011.
"Sachin has almost all the batting records under his belt now. His dream is to win an ODI World Cup and I want him to achieve that. I am sure we will win the trophy next year," Achrekar said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
'I was sure he would be the best batsman in the world'
Tendulkar, who despite his busy schedule never forgets to seek the blessings of his coach, went to meet him before the South Africa tour as well.
"He came to meet me before going to South Africa. Anjali was also with him. He stayed for an hour and talked about cricket. His passion for the game has not reduced in all these years and this quality keeps him ahead of others," said Achrekar.
The coach, having watched Tendulkar from very close quarters, said his batting style has changed a bit but it is only for the better.
"Yes, his style has changed but it is for good. It is quite natural also when you are playing for two decades.
"I was very sure that if could continue his hunger for runs and passion for the game, he would become the best batsman in the world and it happened," said Achrekar, who despite being partially paralysed since 1998, still go to the Shivaji Park daily to rebrush old memories and give some tips to youngsters.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar