Sachin Tendulkar paid a heartfelt tribute to his former coach Ajit Wadekar, who is believed to have played a pivotal role in shaping the little master's career.
Former Indian cricket team skipper and coach Ajit Wadekar passed away after suffering from prolonged illness in Mumbai on Wednesday. Full state-honors were accorded to the 77-year-old, who will always be remembered for his contribution to Indian cricket and playing a massive role in shaping its identity on the world stage, both as captain and coach.
During his playing years, Wadekar was responsible for ushering in a new era of cricket, when the Indian cricket team put to rest the myth of being bad travelers by winning two away Test series in the same year.
Following his retirement in 1974, the left-handed batsman made a successful return to the cricketing scene with his appointment of Indian cricket team coach in 1992. His coaching stint almost mirrored the success of his playing career as he steered India to famous wins in that golden phase between 1993-1995.
It was under his tutelage, one of the greatest players to have graced the gentleman's game was born, Sachin Tendulkar. The 'Master Blaster' was handed his ODI debut against New Zealand in 1994, and he never looked back after that as he went on to break several records during his stellar career which spanned for almost 24 years.
The batting maestro, who owes a major part of his success to Wadekar, admitted that his former coach's demise was an "irreparable" and personal loss” for him. Tendulkar, was present at his former coach's Worli residence to pay his last respects, where Wadekar's body was wrapped in the tricolor, and a cricketing cap was placed atop his head.
This is an irreparable loss. I'll say it is a personal loss. People know Wadekar sir as a great cricketer, but I was fortunate enough to see him as a great cricketer as well as a wonderful person. For me he was very important. Over the years our relationship grew stronger,” Tendulkar said after paying his last respects to the departed soul.
Following his unfortunate demise, the entire cricketing fraternity has been left in shock. And since then, the tributes have been pouring in. From Mohammed Azharuddin to Anil Kumble, here's how the Indian cricketing family paid homage to Ajit Wadekar.