R.I.P Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (1941-2011)

A genius with one eye. Elegant and stylish batsman. One of Indian Cricket’s finest captains ever, who epitomized the gentleman’s game so brilliantly. Mansoor Ali Khan (Nawab of Pataudi) passed away yesterday evening. He was 70.

I’ve never met him, in fact, never saw any of his cricketing clips as well. But definitely was a great fan – cause he appeared to be a very elegant and stylish batsman (someone like Brian Lara or Saeed Anwar) and yes of course, because he went to Oxford. Unfortunately, his father, Senior Pataudi’s record of 238 (not out) at Lords against Cambridge, which was the highest score against Cambridge University in a Varsity Match was broken when I was there in Oxford. Salil Oberoi scored 247 to break that score in 2005. Met Salil a few times, even played a 2nd XI match with him (for Merton College) on weekends. A fine chap as well.

Coming back to Nawab, am sure, this is a great loss to Indian cricket and to world cricket as a whole. Without any formal training, without attending any camps (as shitloads we have now), all natural abilities to be best. And that too – scoring 3,000+ International runs with one eye! Damn! That’s sheer genius.

Thank you for all that you have done for Indian cricket. Taking a team which comprised of players from small states and uniting them as one force and representing India as one nation on Foreign Tours, to winning our first ever Away Test Series on Foreign soil in NZealand, you definitely have an apt name. Tiger! And not to forget, you became India’s and the world’s youngest Test captain at the age of 21. A record which stood for many years till recently broken by T. Taibu who became captain at 20.

Rest In Peace, the last Nawab of Pataudi.

A classic cover drive from Tiger! Look at the toe pointing to the cover. That’s fucking awesome copy book cricket at its finest.

Hanif Mohammad of Pakistan and Tiger chat at Lord’s ahead of playing for the Rest of the World in 1965.

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