NEW DELHI: A beleaguered captain and a struggling leg-spinner got a new lease of life under his managership and no wonder former India captains Mohammed Azharuddin and Anil Kumble found a “father figure” in Ajit Wadekar, during their glory days in international cricket.
Wadekar, 77, passed away in Mumbai yesterday after prolonged illness.
It was under Wadekar that Azharuddin, who was till then struggling captain, having lost Test series in New Zealand, England and Australia, got a second wind under him from 1993 to 1996.
“such an iconic person..deeply saddened by his demise!! Sir was a father figure for me.. May his soul rest in peace! My Heartfelt Condolences to the family,” Azharuddin wrote on his twitter page.8
For Kumble, Wadekar was Godsend after getting dropped post-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.
“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. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. He will be missed. Thank you Sir for the confidence shown in my ability!” wrote Kumble.
For Sanjay Manjrekar, Wadekar was a “tough character” as coach.