New Delhi: The cricket fraternity paid rich tributes to former Indian Test opener Madhav Apte who passed away on Monday at the age of 86.
Apte, who was about to turn 87 on October 5, breathed his last at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.
Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to condole his demise and said: "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."
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 of 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.
"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," said the BCCI in a media release.
"Former cricketer Madhav Apte passes away this morning. Mumbai Cricket Association extends heartfelt condolences to the family," Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) tweeted.
Apte played seven Tests for India, five of which were against West Indies at home. In his seven Tests, he scored 542 runs at an outstanding average of 49.27. He hit three half centuries and one century that came against West Indies in Port of Spain wherein he scored 163*. It was his highest Test score. Post the 1953 series against West Indies, he did not feature in any more games for India.
He continued to be a dominant force in first-class cricket playing for Mumbai both as a batsman and captain remaining as interested and drawn towards the game as always. He finished with 67 first-class games with 3336 runs at an average of 38.79 that included six centuries and sixteen half centuries.
Post retirement, he donned the hat of president of Cricket Club of India in Mumbai and was instrumental in bringing in a 14-year-old Tendulkar into the CCI side then.