Posts Tagged ‘Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’

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.

Prateik may have stopped playing cricket a while ago, but he remains a huge fan of legendary cricketer, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who is his Aarakshan co-star, Saif Ali Khan’s father.

Naturally, when Prateik started working with Saif in Prakash Jha’s upcoming film, the duo bonded over the game. And although, Saif and Prateik share screen space for the first time in Aarakshan, they soon became close pals, thanks to the sport.

In fact, Prateik has given a special bat to his co-star to get it autographed by his father. According to Prateik, Pataudi Sr. had a “very unique and special talent.” Saif too, was quite impressed with Prateik’s knowledge and passion for the gentleman’s game. “Cricket has always been my favourite sport.

For me, bonding sessions with Saif started when he discovered that I was a cricket fanatic. I have asked him for a huge favour. Since I am a big fan of Pataudi sir, I have requested Saif to get me his father’s autograph on my favourite bat,” says Prateik. Although surprised Saif immediately agreed to fulfill the request, as Prateik wanted to showcase the autographed bat in his bedroom.

The actor’s bonding over the game has been so thick, that on the sets of Aarakshan, Saif even taught his co-star a special trick. Since Prateik has been a fast bowler, Saif decided to teach him the trick of throwing a tennis ball hard on the pitch to make it move like a season ball. Saif had learned this trick from his father.

Not many are aware that Prateik has been a fast bowler for his school and state teams. In fact, till his college days, he apparently wanted to be a pace bowler and a pinch-hitter like Irfan Pathan. But when he reached standard 12, he finally quit playing cricket to concentrate on acting.