Tiger Pataudi’s death brought darkness in the nation

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Mansur Ali Khan PataudiMansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one ofIndia’s greatest cricket captains ever and whose flair and sharpness inspired a generation of cricketers, passed away on Thursday after battling a lung infection from the last few months.

The 70-year-old cricketer, one of India’s early superstars and who was known as ‘Tiger’ in the cricket world, was suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal. He is survived by his wife Sharmila Tagore, his actor son Saif Ali Khan and his two daughters Soha Ali and Saba Ali Khan. His entire family was present by his bedside when he passed away at 5:55 p.m. this evening.

“He passed away around 5:55 p.m. His condition had deteriorated since yesterday. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease (interstitial pneumonitis) which worsens rapidly in spite of the finest treatment available,” Dr S P Byotra, Department of medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Pataudi was admitted, said.

“He was unable to maintain his oxygen level in spite of maximal treatment. He continued to remain in the ICU for nearly a month. He had this disease which had been inert since the last three months and worsened very acutely over the last four weeks, the doctor said. Dr. Sumit Ray, vice-chairman, critical care, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told that he had died of respiratory failure leading to cardiac arrest. He was admitted on August 29 and was conscious till Wednesday evening. “He was in the Intensive Care Unit for last three days and his condition did not improve. His family in all probability will take his body tomorrow morning”, he said.

Pataudi, who was also known for his astonishing sense of humor, was the youngest Test captain, a record that stood until 2004. He led Indiain 40 Tests and had a successful career despite impaired vision in his right eye, which was damaged in a car accident. He also captained Sussex and Oxford University.

He scored 2793 runs in 46 Tests at an average of 35 and made six centuries, the biggest of which was an unbeaten 203 against England in Delhi in 1964. However, many experts rate his 75 against Australiain Melbourne in 1967-68 as his best since he played that knock with an injured leg. Pataudi retired in 1975 after West Indies’ tour of India.

Pataudi was the ninth and last Nawab of Pataudi until 1971, when the Indian government abolished royal entitlements through the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. He was also the editor of Sportsworld, the now obsolete cricket magazine, and a television commentator in the 1980s but gradually withdrew from an active role, though he remained a strong voice in Indian cricket.

Amitabh Bachchan posted on Twitter: “Sad news. Tiger Pataudi passes away!” On the other hand, Ad filmmaker-turned-lyricist Prasoon Joshi termed it a “big loss”. “I briefly met him, but have been very close to Sharmila-ji for a long time now. It is a big loss, I am very shocked by the news…May god bless the family,” Joshi, who is currently in the capital, told IANS.

Shekhar Kapur: “Deepest condolences to Sharmila, Saif, Soha and Saba, Tiger Pataudi will b missed, one of the biggest icons of my generation, why so early?”

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