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By Gulu Ezekiel
The incident on the podium at the end of the fourth and final Test match at the Oval last month where Mansur Ali Khan ‘Pataudi’ was left clutching the Pataudi Trophy while the English team celebrated with their sponsor’s trophy was not the only embarrassment to his family.
The Pataudi Trophy was commissioned by the MCC, the venerable institution whose home is Lord’s cricket ground and who are the custodians of the laws of the game to honour Pataudi (junior) and his father, Iftikhar Ali Khan or Pataudi (senior) “in recognition of the contribution which the Pataudi family have made to cricket” according to the text on the score-card printed by the MCC and sold by them at Lord’s during the first Test in July.
But the score-card also contains a factual error which puts the MCC in poor light.
Sale of blank score-cards, filled in by spectators and fans is a tradition at cricket grounds around England and famous match score-cards are much sought after by collectors.
The Lord’s Test was doubly historic for being the 2,000 Test match of all time and the 100th between England and India, making this particular score-card extra special. England won the match by 196 runs, their first step towards a series whitewash.
The score-card further states: “The Nawab of Pataudi (1910-52) represented England before India achieved Test status and captained India in her first tour after the Second World War, to England in 1946. The Nawab of Pataudi (born 1941) captained India in 40 of the 46 Tests in which he played and led the team during the 1967 tour of England.”
This famous father and son pair have always been differentiated by adding snr. (senior) and jnr. (junior) after their names or by referring to them by their full names, Iftikhar Ali Khan and Mansur Ali Khan respectively, though this has not been done in the score-card.
However, the blunder has been committed in stating that the senior Nawab of Pataudi (Iftikhar) represented England before India achieved Test status.
In fact India played their first Test match at Lord’s in June 1932 under the captaincy of CK Nayudu and it was six months later at Sydney that Pataudi (snr.) marked his Test debut for England against Australia with a century. That was in the infamous ‘Bodyline’ series of 1932-33 which England won 4-1 under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine.
Pataudi (snr.) did indeed captain India in England in 1946 in what would prove to be his final Test series, thus becoming the only player to represent both England and India.
He died of a heart attack while playing polo in New Delhi on his son’s 11th birthday.