Sachin Tendulkar's childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar breathed his last recently and the Indian men's cricket team paid their tributes to the legendary coach on the opening day of the series-deciding fourth Test against Australia on Thursday.
The Virat Kohli-led side were seen sporting black armbands as they walked down the crease for the national anthem before the start of the day's play at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Taking to its official Twitter handle, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted a picture of the players from the field and wrote," As a mark of respect to the demise of Mr.Ramakant Achrekar, the team is wearing black arm bands today. #TeamIndia."
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019
Popularly known as 'Achrekar Sir', Ramakant Achreka passed away at his own home at the age of 87 on Wednesday evening.He was suffering from age-related ailments and was also half-paralysed.
Besides Tendulkar, Achrekar, the founder of Kamath Memorial Cricket Club at Shivaji Park, had coached and nurtured several other cricketers including top players such as Ajit Agarkar, Sanjay Bangar, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre and Ramesh Powar.
Achrekar has been the recipient of several top honours and awards. He was conferred with Dronacharya Award for his services to cricket coaching in 1990 before being honoured with Padma Shri, the country's highest civilian award, in sports category in 2010. In the same year, Achrekar was awarded the 'Lifetime Achievement' award by Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, the Australian men's cricket team were also seen donning the black armbands as a mark of respect for former Australian batsman Bill Watson, who also breathed his last recently at the age of 87.
India had earlier secured the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning the first Test at Adelaide by 31 runs and the third match in Melbourne by 137 runs. Australia had emerged victorious in the second match at Perth by 146 runs.