India great 'Tiger' Pataudi dies, aged 70
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one of India's most charismatic cricketers
and a prolific batsman despite losing an eye, died on Thursday aged 70
following lung disease, his doctors said.
The former national captain, better known as the Nawab of Pataudi or
'Tiger', was admitted to a New Delhi hospital earlier this month and
appeared to be recovering before his condition deteriorated on
"He was suffering from interstitial (tissue) lung disease which
worsened rapidly in spite of the best treatment available," hospital
spokesman S. P. Byotra told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Pataudi is survived by his actress wife Sharmila Tagore, two
daughters and a son, Saif Ali Khan, who is a popular Bollywood actor.
Pataudi played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975, scoring 2,793 runs at
an average of 34.91 with six centuries, including an unbeaten 203
against England in New Delhi in 1964.
Nicknamed 'Tiger' because of his excellent catching and throwing in
the outfield, he was regarded as one of India's finest fielders.
An adventurous batsman who was not afraid to loft the ball over the
infield, Pataudi played most of his career without his right eye, which
he lost in a car accident in England.
Samoa’s Kane Thompson (C) dribbling with a huge ball as his
teammate George Stowers (R) tries to block during a captain’s
run training session at Eden Park stadium in Auckland on
September 23 during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. AFP
Pataudi became India's captain at the age of 21 during a tour of the
West Indies in 1962 when the then skipper Nari Contractor was injured
after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith.
He led India in 40 of his 46 Tests, winning nine and securing the
country's first series win abroad on the 1967/68 tour of New Zealand.
Indian cricket chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan led rich tributes to
the legendary sportsman.
"He was an exemplary individual, who guided Indian cricket to
unprecedented heights, as batsman, fielder and captain," Srinivasan said
in a statement. "He revolutionised fielding standards in the Indian team
and across the country. In an age wherein a draw was considered as good
as a win, Tiger Pataudi encouraged his players to go flat out for
victory." Current superstar Sachin Tendulkar said Pataudi's death was a
"terrible loss to world cricket."
Former India captain and spin great Bishan Bedi, who began his career
under Pataudi, said there will "never be another cricketer like him."
"Tiger was a royal in every sense," Bedi added. "A man of stature, both
on and off the field. Superb batsman, brilliant fielder and a great
captain. He was an inspiration for all who played with him." NEW DELHI,
India, Friday, AFP