Pakistan shocked at Tiger Pataudi’s death

KARACHI — Pakistanis on Friday paid tribute to former Indian captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, saying the death of the charismatic player left a void in the cricket world.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 23 Sep 2011, 7:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:37 AM

Pataudi, nicknamed “The Tiger” for his superb fielding, who died Thursday aged 70, was equally popular across the border for his grace and charismatic character.

He played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975, scoring 2,793 runs at an average of 34.91 with six centuries despite losing his right eye in a car accident in England.

Former Pakistan captain and a contemporary of Pataudi, Hanif Mohammad said the news came as a shock.

“I recently watched him on television and he looked great, but the sudden news of his death is a shock to me,” said Mohammad, nicknamed “Little Master” for his batting in 1950s and 60s.

Mohammad said he didn’t play against Pataudi as India-Pakistan ties were stalled during that period but they were team-mates in a World XI.

“When Pataudi started his career, we didn’t have Indo-Pak ties but we got a chance to play in a World XI and I found him a great human being, a charismatic character and a genuine cricket buff,” Mohammad reminisced.

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (AFP) chairman Shaharyar Khan, a cousin of Pataudi, said his death was a great loss for the game.

“Pataudi was a great ambassador of Indian cricket and was a very genuine cricket lover, his death will leave a great void for the family and for the cricket world,” said Khan.

Pataudi became India’s youngest 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.

Former PCB chief executive Arif Abbasi remembered Pataudi as a “great friend.”

“I have lost a great and a very close friend,” said Abbasi. “He had a great vision of the game and his demise is not only a great loss for Indian cricket but also for international cricket as well.”

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