Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Biography
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi is a former Indian Test cricketer who is also regarded as one of India’s greatest captain ever. Mansoor Ali Khan was born on 5th January, 1941 into the royal household of Pataudi, at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. His father, Iftikhar Ali Khan was the eighth Nawab of Pataudi, whom Mansur succeeded to become the 9th Nawab of Pataudi (junior). His mother, Sajida Sultan was the former “Begum of Bhopal”.
Mansur Ali Khan completed his education from Winchester College in England and at the Oxford University, after which he devotedly followed his interest in the sport of cricket. Balancing his professional cricketing career and home-front well, Mansur went on to marry noted Bollywood star, Sharmila Tagore in 1969, with whom he had three children, namely Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan, who are both Bollywood celebrities, and Saba Ali Khan, who is a noted jewellery designer.
Nicknamed ‘Tiger’, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was an adventurous and fearless right-handed batsman, with a penchant for lofting the ball over the infield. He was also an efficient right-arm medium-pacer. Despite impairing his right-eye vision permanently, owing to a car accident, Pataudi junior’s strong willpower and zeal urged him on to overcome his handicap and pursue his strong passion for cricket.
Thus began his brilliant cricketing career, where he went on to captain the Indian national side at the young age of 21, to become one of India’s most successful Test captains. The major teams that Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi had represented are India, Delhi, Hyderabad and Sussex.
Mansur Ali Khan had an outstanding first-class career playing 310 matches and scoring a whopping 15425 runs, his highest being 203 (not-out). Mansur Khan made his Test debut against England at Delhi in December 1961.
Possessing strong leadership traits, Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi was instrumental in instigating self-belief amongst his players.
Being made captain in 1962, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi led his team to several wins, including their first-ever overseas Test victory against New Zealand (1967), where his strong belief in traditional spin proved its worth. He has appeared in 46 Tests, scoring 2793 runs with six centuries, at an average of 34.91.
After retirement, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi continued to serve cricket becoming the Indian national cricket coach (1974/75) as well as served as an ICC match referee for both Tests and ODI (1993-96).
He was even into politics, contesting from Gurgaon as a candidate of the Vishal Haryana Party in the 1971 elections to the Lok Sabha, protesting about the abolition of Privy Purse in India.
Recently, in 2005, Mansur Pataudi was involved in the controversial ‘hunting case’ of the endangered black buck species, in which he eventually surrendered and awaits trial.
For his immense contribution and dedication in the field of cricket, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1964 and was also honored with the ‘Wisden Cricketer of the Year’ in 1968.
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi passed away on September 22nd, 2011 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. He was 70 and was battling an acute lung infection. Patuadi or Tiger as he was called fondly was an ace cricketer and was one of the most successful cricket captains India has seen.
Despite losing his right eye in a car accident when he was 20 and at the beginning of his career, Pataudi took the Indian team to the height of its success and India won 9 tests under his leadership.
Pataudi scored 2793 runs at an average of 35 and made 6 centuries, the most famous of which was an unbeaten 203 against England in Delhi in 1964. Mansoor Ali Khan retired from cricket in 1975 though he continued to be associated with the BCCI till 2010.