The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

September 23, 2011

India, cricket world mourn Nawab of Pataudi's death

One of the greatest cricketers to have ever walked on the cricket field, Mansoor Ali Khan, better known as Nawab of Pataudi, passed away at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on Thursday.

With just one eye, Pataudi's exploits on the fields are truly legendary. The former cricketer had captained India in 40 tests and had given the Indian team taste of victory on foreign soil for the first time.

Pataudi, whose father Iftikhar Ali Khan alias Pataudi Senior, was also an accomplished international cricketer, will be buried in Pataudi town in Haryana. He died of cardiac arrest after respiratory failure. The one-eyed genius had amassed 2,793 runs in 46 tests.

Mansur Ali Khan was not just the heir of the erstwhile principality of Pataudi in Haryana but also a scion of the Muslim princely state, Bhopal, in Central India, from his mother's side. His mother Sajida Sultan was titular head of Bhopal state after the death of her father the last Nawab of Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan.

Pataudi had inherited his father's love for sports, particularly, cricket. After losing his eye in a car accident in England, Pataudi still managed to play at the highest level of international cricket, and even went on to captain India. It was under his captaincy that India got the killer instinct and learnt the art of winning test matches.

Mansoor Ali Khan inspired his teammates and junior cricketers. It was under him that Prasanna would always become a lethal bowler, almost unplayable. The famous spin quartet became all the more effective when Pats captained the Indian team.

After a successful career, the flamboyant batsman hung his boots. He had married India's most glamorous actress Sharmila Tagore aka Ayesha. The couple's son Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan are Bollywood stars while Saba Ali Khan is a jewellery designer.

Apart from his cricketing exploits and royal lineage, Pataudi was also a style icon. He was amongst the first few celebrities who were approached for modelling in India. His autobiography Tiger's Tale tells a vivid account of his life.

TIH Bureau

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