Miss you, Tiger

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

The Nawab has passed away. He was my friend and a great of the game. On both counts, he will be sorely missed.

My association with the Nawab goes back fifty years. I first met him through some common friends at Oxford, and the first thing that struck me about him was the God-given gift he possessed to treat all men as equals. He was an amateur back then, a man of singular talent. Of course he was a dashing young fellow with an exquisite cover drive, but what stood out were the qualities of an old- fashioned gentleman in him, even as a young man. He stood apart for his kind nature and a heart of gold.

I followed his cricket closely during his varsity days and went on to become a great fan of his captaincy when he plied his trade for India. But the Nawab I know, adore and remember is the man himself, the brilliant nature possessed within his shy being.

Despite hailing from a royal family, and having the blood of a Maharaja (as we like to refer to the Indian princes back here in England) flowing in his veins, Pataudi was a man for the masses, someone who reached beyond both the realms of his sport. He always considered himself lucky and privileged to be born in such a family, and wasn't the kind to throw his weight around. The Nawab liked to earn people's respect. That was his style, both on and off the field. I was fortunate to have called him my friend.

Cricket may have been his focus during his college days, but he was well read, well educated and a jolly good fellow. In fact, he would often tell me how much he loved my books. Kane and Abel won plenty of critical acclaim, but one of my most cherished reviews came from the Nawab. He told me it was his favourite, and he is a great fan of the book.

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