Home > Features > Moments in history >

Teachers Day: Ramakant Achrekar’s only First-Class match

Achrekar-Tendulkar-628
Ramakant Achrekar coaching his most famous pupil, Sachin Tendulkar during the mid 1980s

Ramakant Achrekar, coach of many a famous student, played a solitary First-Class match that started on October 2, 1964. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at an innocuous Moin-ul-Dowlah Gold Cup encounter that holds a special place in Indian cricket.

The world perhaps remembers Ramakant Vithal Achrekar as Sachin Tendulkar’s coach, and it cannot be denied that his forte lay in coaching. However, there was more to him than that: Achrekar was also a competent cricketer in his early days: he played for New Hind Sports Club, Young Maharashtra XI, Gul Mohar Hills, and Mumbai Port.

It was in 1964 that he was selected by All-India State Bank of India (SBI) for their Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup squad. It was no mean feat, given that the side boasted of stars like Vijay Mehra, Hanumant Singh, Ajit Wadekar, Ramesh Saxena, Milkha Singh, Baloo Gupte, Sharad Diwadkar, and VV Kumar.

There were four teams in the tournament. While Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagram’s XI, Tata Sports Club, and Associated Cement Company got direct entry to the semifinal, SBI had to battle it out with Hyderabad Cricket Association (HC) XI for the fourth spot.

Diwadkar decided to bat, and Achrekar walked out to bat with Vijay Mehra against ML Jaisimha, the HCA XI captain, and Habib Khan. It was not the most auspicious of starts: he was caught by Abid Ali off Jaisimha after he had scored a solitary run. The SBI score had reached a mere 12.

Jaisimha took out Hanumant and Wadekar early as well, and at 34 for three SBI looked in trouble. Mehra (42) and Saxena (47 not out) added 43 for the fourth stand, but wickets kept tumbling as the slow bowlers came on. Mahendra Kumar, M Jairam, and Kareem-ul-Haq shared seven wickets between them, and Saxena was left stranded as SBI were bowled out for 148 on Day One.

Both HCA XI openers were run out; Jaisimha walked out at 68 for three, and saw his side being reduced to 120 for six. He took control and played the kind of innings that set him apart from his peers, especially in domestic cricket: nobody else crossed 30 as Jaisimha single-handedly took the score to 284, scoring an unbeaten 151 out of 217 during his stay at the wicket.

Disaster struck early in the SBI second innings as well (KS Ramachandran was promoted to open with Mehra). Achrekar eventually appeared at 127 for six with his side still in arrears. He scored a brisk 27 (dominating a 42-run stand with Saxena) before being stumped by Venkatesh Rao off Mahendra Kumar. Saxena top-scored again (this time with 71) as SBI managed a slender lead of 72.

Though Gupte provided an early breakthrough, Abid Ali and Abbas Ali Baig took control of proceedings. Diwadkar threw the ball to Mehra (who took two quick wickets), but Baig’s unbeaten 46 was enough to see HCA XI home with six wickets in hand on the third morning.

What followed?

-          Hyderabad Cricket Association were knocked out in the semifinal by Associated Cricket Association, who lost to MaharajKumar of Vizianagram’s XI in the final, thanks to Chandu Borde’s 11 for 72.

-          Achrekar did not play another match. He went on to became one of India’s most famous coaches. Apart from Tendulkar, his students include Balwinder Sandhu, Chandrakant Pandit, Vinod Kambli, Pravin Amre, and Ajit Agarkar.

-          Achrekar was later honoured with Dronacharya Award (1990), Padma Shri (2010), and Sports Illustrated Lifetime Achievement Award (2011).

Brief scores:

State Bank of India 148 (Ramesh Saxena 47, Vijay Mehra 42; ML Jaisimha 3 for 28, Mahendra Kumar 3 for 38) and 207 (Ramesh Saxena 71; Habib Khan 4 for 37) lost to Hyderabad Cricket Association XI 284 (ML Jaisimha 151 not out; Baloo Gupte 3 for 107) and 75 for 4 (Abbas Ali Baig 46 not out) by 6 wickets.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Live Streaming: New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Mt Maunganui

Live Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Mount Maunganui

Live Cricket Score: New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: 1st Test sees disappointing crowd turnout

Virat Kohli spot-kicks raise money for charity in Indian Super League

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here