Cricket, the religion of India, has been a part of the culture of the country since the 17th century. The people of India have always loved, cherished, and believed in the sport. The country has seen some of the most talented, gifted, and determined players who not only did leave their impression on the cricket pitch but changed the way we look at the cricket today. Among them was a player who was not only gifted but was also determined to make his mark. He was Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. The former captain of the Indian Cricket Team and father of Saif Ali Khan.
The Nawab of Pataudi, between 1961 and 1975, played 46 Tests for India, leading the team in 40 of the tests. It was during this time that India won its first series abroad in 1967 in New Zealand, where the Nawab of Pataudi scored 2793 runs at an average of 34.91 with 6 centuries and 16 half-centuries.
Also, popularly known as Tiger Pataudi, this player with immense talent and potential lost an eye in an unfortunate car accident in 1961. But what the incident couldn’t take away from him was his will to play. He played most of the matches without his right eye.
It became a great topic of discussion when Pataudi’s son, the veteran Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan revealed how former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott once mocked at his father, telling the actor that he doubts his father’s visual impairment. ‘I heard about your father, it’s not possible to play Test cricket with one eye’ said Geoffrey. Hearing this, Saif Ali Khan asked the former England player if he thinks his father is lying, to which his remark was, Yes! I think he’s making it up.”
Saif, who really looked up to the English batsman was quite annoyed with the mockery and told his father about this, to which he said, “Well, I was bloody good with two eyes. I’m just good with one.” As per Saif, this was the only arrogant remark his father had ever made.
Saif also shared how carefree his father, the Nawab of Pataudi was and how he used to see cricket just as a sport. He says his father was losing interest in the sport in the 60s because he thought that there was too much cricket and would usually say no to tours.
The dynamic player with great potential died in 2011. As told by his son, he lived a great and carefree life while seeing cricket just as a sport with several other things to achieve in life.
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