There were two gifted and talented batsmen in Mumbai. Both had the coach named Ramakant Achrekar. Coincidentally both also have a brother named Ajit. While one Ajit guided his brother, Sachin Tendulkar, to the glory – the other Ajit took his brother’s – Anil Gurav – career down.
Anil Gurav is one of the unfortunate men whose career got over even before it began because of his brother’s lifestyle. Anil used to play for Mumbai’s U-19 team and was called as Viv Richards of Mumbai. Coach Ramakant Achrekar even asked Sachin, who was much younger to him, to observe Anil’s style of batting and learn from him.
Since Anil was elder and senior to him, Tendulkar used to address him as Sir. Sachin on one occasion asked Anil to give him his bat to play in a match. Gurav himself asked Tendulkar to hit a big score and Sachin slammed a ton in that match. The master blaster kept the bat with him as a memory.
Gurav’s talent was such that everyone knew that he will make it to Team India for sure. But destiny had something else stored in for him. His brother Ajit became a sharpshooter of an underworld gang. Police used to pick up Gurav and his family members repeatedly and severely beat them to find out the whereabouts of his brother. This resulted in Anil Gurav missing matches and practice sessions.
He lost his focus and more opportunities if there were any. Gurav had to answer to the police up till 1994 and by then his cricket career was over. At the same time; tired of all stress, Anil Gurav made best friends with alcohol and till date, he is called as a drunkard in the small locality he resides now.
Gurav says he last met Sachin in the early 1990s at the Islam Gymkhana at Marine Lines, when he saw Sachin getting into his car surrounded by security guys. Sachin saw him and at once recognized him. He called him and spoke for a couple of minutes and asked him to come to his home.