A significant step to immortalise the legacy of cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar was taken on Tuesday at a meeting convened under the chairmanship of Mumbai City District Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar. Achrekar is widely recognised for mentoring cricket luminaries, including master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli.
Passionate about paying homage to Achrekar, citizens proposed the installation of a memorial at the entrance to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Maidan, popularly known as Shivaji Park in Dadar. Recognising the significance of this request, Kesarkar led the meeting to explore possibilities to integrate the memorial as part of the beautification project at the iconic park.
In attendance at the meeting were additional municipal commissioner (city) Dr Ashwini Joshi, Mumbai city collector Rajendra Kshirsagar, besides others.
Shivaji Park holds historical importance as it witnessed the nurturing of numerous veteran cricketers under the mentorship of Achrekar. These cricketers went on to bring glory to the nation on the international stage. In light of this rich legacy, sports enthusiasts and locals united in their demand for a memorial that would stand as a testament to Achrekar’s contributions.
The proposed location for the memorial is near Gate number 5 of Shivaji Park, strategically chosen to enhance the beautification of the park. Notably, the memorial’s construction will be a community-driven initiative, with cricket lovers and local citizens contributing financially to bring this vision to life.
Recognising the deep emotional and cultural ties between Achrekar, the cricketing community and Shivaji Park, Kesarkar expressed his support, too. As plans for the memorial take shape, the BMC, in tandem with the community, aims to create a lasting symbol of reverence for Achrekar, ensuring that his invaluable contributions to Indian cricket are etched in the heart of Mumbai. The proposal stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving and honouring its sporting legacy.