A tribute to the tiger
Even as the Champions League T20 gets underway today with the RCB vs Warriors match, let us take some time off all the excitement and euphoria to pay tribute to India's greatest captain ever.
Born on the 5th of January 1841 to the Nawab of Pataudi and Former
Captain of India, Ifthikar
Ali Khan Pataudi and Sajjda Sultan, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi or 'Tiger' as he
was popularly known played 46 tests for India. A budding career was almost
nipped in the bud as he met with a serious accident in 1961 which severely
damaged his right eye resulting in permanent loss of vision. Common lore has it
that his right eye was replaced with that of a 'goat'. A year later, 'Tiger'
bounced back and captained India
after playing only 6 matches. Though he won only 9 of the 40 matches in which
he captained India, he was
special because he led India
to it's first series win overseas in 1968, when they overcame New Zealand. During those days,
even a solitary win at home was something great.India's selectors were scoffed
at when they stripped the Tiger of his captaincy and later dropped him from the
Indian National Cricket team.
In a great career spanning more than a decade, Pataudi scored 2793
runs with a best of '203*'. He brought about a revolution in Indian cricket
with his unconventional captaincy. He was the first to play 3 spinners in the team
and many greats made their debut under him. He was also known for his superb
fielding at cover. He also captained the Sussex County and the Oxford University team. He married popular actress Sharmila Tagore in 1969. He also was a commentator for a brief period of time during the '80s. He was also instrumental in the success of the Indian Premier League as a member of the governing council till 2010. He has been awarded the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award for his contributions to the gentleman's game. His team-mates have called him the greatest gentleman ever to play the gentleman's game.
Though today's generation will always remember him as Saif Ali Khan's father, he carved a niche for himself by being 'India's greatest and youngest captain ever'.
I hope the Royal Challengers Bangalore give him due respect by wearing a black armband during today's game.
May his soul rest in peace