Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pataudis: The Elegant and Spirited Nawabs

Though slightly old, this narration by Tiger Pataudi is really worth a read. After seeing his snap in the article, I was awed by the good looks the Nawab had in his younger days. Pataudi, the estate just outside Delhi, was just one of the many princely states of undivided India. However, its popularity stems mostly from the father-son duo: Iftekhar Ali Khan Pataudi and his son Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.

Cricket lovers will remember how the Sr. Pataudi - in a very assertive and self respecting manner - refused his captain Douglas Jardine from fielding in the attacking position on the leg side. This field placement was a part of Jardine's unsporting "body line" strategy, which the Nawab didn't approve of. However, this gutsy decision cost the Nawab his position in the English side. (Though he later went on to lead the Indian side against the English team).

And the bravado of Mansoor Ali Khan can be gauged from the fact that even after loosing his one eye in an unfortunate accident, he still managed to play good cricket, and was particularly known for his agile fielding.

It's the grace of the duo that makes the clan of Pataudi count more than other erstwhile princes of British India.

And we thought that all Nawabs are laid back fellows -:).