Why players from both India and Australia are wearing black armbands
The Indians have the upper hand after the end of the first session in the ongoing fourth and final Test of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia at the SCG. Skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first.
When the teams walked out for the national anthem, black armbands on the sleeves of the players from both the teams could be seen. Usually, cricketers around the world wear a black band as a token of respect to the deceased or in the case of any unfortunate event that occurs in relation to the sport or their country.
But, why are Australian and Indian players wearing it today?
It has been understood that the Indian players are wearing the black armbands as a tribute to late coach Ramakant Achrekar.
A day before the start of the fourth Test, Achrekar, the person who shaped the careers of a few India internationals including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, took his last breath in Mumbai.
The 86-year-old had been battling symptoms related to old age for the past few days and the news of his death was confirmed by his relatives. "He (Archrekar Sir) is no more with us. He passed away this evening," his kin Rashmi Dalvi told PTI.
"As a mark of respect to the demise of Mr.Ramakant Achrekar, the team is wearing black armbands today," the BCCI said.
"The BCCI expresses its deepest sympathy on the passing of Dronacharya award-winning guru Shri Ramakant Achrekar. Not only did he produce great cricketers, but also trained them to be fine human beings. His contribution to Indian Cricket has been immense," BCCI tweeted about the news of his death.
Achrekar was the architect behind the careers of a few Mumbai players including the likes of Vinod Kambli, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Ajit Agarkar and Sameer Dighe among others.
Meanwhile, the Australians are also wearing black armbands today in memory of former Australia and New South Wales batsman Bill Watson who passed away recently at the age of 87.
May their souls rest in peace!