Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was among several cricketers and celebrities who paid tribute to renowned coach Ramakant Achrekar, who died in Mumbai on Wednesday at the age of 87.

Tendulkar was Achrekar’s most famous protege. He started training with the coach at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park aged 11. Apart from the batting legend, Achrekar also mentored former India cricketers Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Ramesh Powar, Pravin Amre, and Chandrakant Pandit, among others.

His contribution to Mumbai and Indian cricket was recognised with the Dhronacharya award in 1990 and the Padma Shri in 2010.

Tendulkar on Wednesday sent the following statement to the media after news of Achrekar’s death broke:

Cricket in heaven will be enriched with the presence of Achrekar sir. Like many of his students, I learnt my ABCD of cricket under sir’s guidance. His contribution to my life cannot be captured in words. He built the foundation that I stand on. 

Last month, I met sir along with some of his students and spent some time together. We shared a laugh as we remembered the old times. Achrekar sir taught us the virtues of playing straight and living straight. Thank you for making us a part of your life and enriching us with your coaching manual. Well played, sir, and may you coach more wherever you are.