Mumbai, Sep 23 : The cricket fraternity and BCCI paid heartfelt tributes to former Indian Test opener Madhav Apte who passed away here on Monday at the age of 86.
Apte, who was about to turn 87 on October 5, died after suffering a heart attack at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.
India great Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter and recalled how Apte was instrumental in bringing him to play for Cricket Club of India (CCI) at the age of 15.
''Have fond memories of Madhav Apte Sir. I got to play against him at Shivaji Park when I was 14. Still remember the time when he and Dungarpur Sir let me play for the CCI as a 15-year old. He always supported me and was a well wisher. May his Soul Rest in peace,'' Sachin tweeted.
The BCCI also offered condolences on the death of Apte, saying he will be remembered as one of the country's most loved cricketers. "He will remain one of the most loved cricketers and the BCCI extends its deepest condolences to his family and friends in this hour of grief," the BCCI said in a statement.
Meanwhile another Indian cricketer, Mohammad Kaif recalled Apte as a great storyteller and tweeted,"Saddened to hear about the demise of Madhav Apte ji. Great story teller and played cricket till he was 71. My thoughts and prayers with his family.''
Wasim Jaffer said: "He had a Test average touching 50 despite not getting enough opportunities. Played active cricket till he was 71. A legend of Mumbai and Indian cricket passed away today. You will be missed Madhav Apte sir."
"At a loss for words, hearing about the passing away of Madhav Apte Sir. I knew him as a kid and looked up to him for advice. He always motivated me and pushed me to do well. Both me and my father had the privilege of playing cricket with him. May your soul Rest in peace Sir!" tweeted Vinod Kambli.
"Former cricketer Madhav Apte passes away this morning. Mumbai Cricket Association extends heartfelt condolences to the family," Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) tweeted.
Madhav Apte, who played 7 Test matches for India, was the fourth-oldest living Indian Test cricketer, younger only to DK Gaekwad, CD Gopinath and Chandrakant Patankar.
In his short test career , he scored 542 runs at an outstanding average of 49.27.He hit three half-centuries and one century that came against the West Indies in Port of Spain where he notched up his highest score of 163 not out.
However, he had a much better first class record where he scored 3,336 runs from 67 matches, including six hundreds and 16 fifties. His highest first class score was 165 not out.
After retirement, Apte also served as the president of the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai. (UNI)