Former Indian Cricket Captain Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Passes Away

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Saif Ali Khan Updates
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Mansur Ali Khan, formerly known as the Nawab of Pataudi, died due to respiratory ailments here on Thursday. The former cricketer who led India to many wins, was 70.

Pataudi Jr, as Mansur was also known, played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975. His first-class career spanned over almost two decades and he made a prolific impact on Indian cricket with not just his forceful batting and medium-pace bowling but through his sheer determination to excel. He was appointed India captain at an early age of 21 and is regarded widely as the man who uplifted the team from being resigned to defeats to a spirit to fight for a win.

Pataudi led the Indian team to its first overseas victory when New Zealand surrendered to his side in the 1967 series. The win and the subsequent victories were not just the result of playing well on the field but off it as well. Pataudi was known to think differently and tackle the each opposition with a different approach. He recognised, for instance, that India must play with three spinners because spin was the key against foreign teams. It played dividends then and continues to do so now as in contemporary cricket, spin and not pace is considered as India’s bowling might.

That captaincy came barely months after a life-threatening accident made Pataudi’s achievement stand out more. After all there is a genuine reason why he soon came to also be known as Tiger. Pataudi was involved in a very serious car accident that left him with no vision in his right eye. Yet, he managed to excel not just as a player but also as a leader for which he was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1964 and the Padma Shri in 1967.

Two years after receiving the Padma Shri, Pataudi married Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore and retired from cricket in 1975. He had since been actively involved with the game as first an ICC match referee and then as a cricket analyst.

He is survived by his wife Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan and daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan.

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