Sachin Tendulkar (L) is presented with a citation by former cricket captain Ajit Wadekar at a ceremony held in his honour by the Marathi Journalists Association in Mumbai , 23 March 2006
Sachin Tendulkar (L) is presented with a citation by former cricket captain Ajit Wadekar at a ceremony held in his honour by the Marathi Journalists Association in Mumbai , 23 March 2006. Getty Image

Remembering former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar, who passed away aged 77 on Wednesday, Sachin Tendulkar said that Wadekar’s passing was an irreparable and a personal loss for him, adding he knew how to bring the best out of the players.

“This is an irreparable loss. I will say it is a personal loss,”said Tendulkar on Friday, adding, “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.”

Wadekar had famously captained India to their maiden Test series wins in the West Indies and England, both in 1971 and retiring, Wadekar served as India’s coach during the time Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli were in the team.

“He understood how to bring the best out of the players. I was personally benefited by his presence in the team,” recalled Tendulkar.

Talking about his influence on the young careers of Kambli and himself, Tendulkar stated that Wadekar treated them as friends.

“We have spent a lot of time together. I remember he was appointed our coach at the end of 1992, and he came as someone who had worn multiple hats, having been the captain of India, a great player himself, and most of all he was a real good person.Slowly, he got to understand us, to the extent that he became friends with us. He would sit with Vinod Kambli and myself and chat like friends,” Tendulkar told the Hindustan Times.

Wrapped in the tricolour, Wadekar’s body was kept at his Worli residence for people to pay their last respects ahead of his cremation to be performed later in the day at the Shivaji Park crematorium.

Former India wicketkeeper and BCCI GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim also paid tributes to Wadekar.”All players of my age have followed him. He was a brilliant left-handed batsman. This is a great loss for the entire cricketing fraternity,” said Karim.

Former India cricketers Sameer Dighe, Kambli, ex-hockey captain M M Somaiya, past and present MCA officials also paid their tributes to the former India captain along with several others.

(With PTI Inputs)