Thursday, September 22, 2011

R.I.P Tiger

Today when I read a news piece on Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi's lung infection, I thought that I would write a piece after he passed away.
I returned home to see a newsflash of his death.
I've never seen him play. I've only heard tales. Cricket fans know that he batted with one eye, as the other was lost in a car accident. I know that he was then the world's youngest captain (at 21), after Nari Contractor's skull was fractured. I also know that he was the first Indian captain to win a series abroad in New Zealand. I know that he married Sharmila Tagore. I know that he is the father of Saif and Soha Ali Khan. Unfortunately, most people will know him only as Saif and Soha's father.
When I think of how little I know of him as a player, I feel weird. I pride myself for the cricket knowledge that I possess, but when it comes to the Tiger, I know nothing. But then, when I think about it, Pataudi hated the spotlight. He was never caught in a controversy, unless of course you want to talk about his marrying outside the religion. But Sharmila Tagore and he have looked very much in love now like they did then.
While watching his obituary, I saw Kris Srikkanth say that Pataudi was his boyhood hero. Harsha Bhogle choked on television and the cricket world is mourning.
Unfortunately, YouTube has no videos of his batting, so unless I have archived footage of the Indian side in 1969, I'll never know.
Until then, I'll just have to live with the knowledge that I have.

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