Kumble remembers ‘father figure’ Ajit Wadekar; ‘big influence’, says Sachin

New Delhi: A man who didn’t just shape careers but also touched lives Ajit Wadekar meant many things to the many cricketers he played with and led, mentored as a manager and moulded as a selector.

Wadekar, the first captain to lead India to Test series wins in England and the West Indies, passed away at the age of 77 in Mumbai on Wednesday after prolonged illness.

Sachin Tendulkar described the former India captain as a big “influence”.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of #AjitWadekar. He was more than a coach to the entire team a father figure and a shrewd tactician… He will be missed. Thank you Sir for the confidence shown in my ability!” — Anil Kumble

Wadekar’s career in numbers

  • Tests: 37; Runs: 2,113; HS: 143; 100s: 1; 50s: 14; Avg: 31.07.
  • ODIs: 2; Runs: 73; HS: 67; 100s: 0; 50s: 1; Avg: 36.50.
  • First Class: 237; Runs: 15,380; HS: 323; 100s: 36; 50s: 84; Avg: 47.03.

How he helped Tendulkar & Kumble

  • Manager Wadekar had an instrumental role to play in making Tendulkar an opener, a position in which he flourished.
  • It was also under Wadekar that Azharuddin, who was till then a struggling captain, got a second wind from 1993 to 1996.For Kumble, Wadekar was a God-sent after he was dropped following the 1990 tour of England.
  • His comeback coincided with Wadekar’s entry as manager during the 1992-93 tour of South Africa. He was never dropped during the next 16 years till his retirement in 2008.