Vidyut Jaisimha and P.R. Man Singh share their memories of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
A prankster, a down to earth man, witty with a wicked sense of humour; this is how a few people in Hyderabad who knew Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi describe him.
The legendary M.L. Jaisimha's son Vidyut Jaisimha and former manager to the Indian cricket team P.R. Man Singh recall and share their memories of Pataudi, who had a special bonding with Hyderabad.
“Our families have always been close. Tiger Pataudi stayed in our house a number of times and he is still remembered for his wit and wicked sense of humour. He used to love playing practical jokes on everyone. Our dad, M.L. Jaisimha was his buddy. The strangest and the most unusual thing so far in the history of cricket happened with dad and Tiger Pataudi. When dad was the captain of south zone and Hyderabad, Pataudi played under him but when Pataudi became the captain of the Indian team, dad played under him. Pataudi was scared of flying and travelling for long in trains was difficult for him. It is really sad to know about his demise. We knew about his health condition but didn't know it deteriorated so much. He was in a lot of pain and it isn't nice to see a man like him in pain.”
P.R. Man Singh
I have known him for 50 years. When he was to play in 1961 against England in Hyderabad I too played with him. Finally when I moved to cricket administration I was in contact with him on a day-to-day basis. He was a member of the south zone and played three months for Hyderabad Blues Cricket Club. When I was writing a book on the history of Hyderabad cricket, titled ‘Cricket Biryani' and approached him, Pataudi immediately agreed to write the foreword for my book. He was a non-fussy man and when we were playing the Ranji trophy in Kerala, Pataudi who loved to eat eggs couldn't explain the waiter the way he wanted his fried eggs. Language was a problem in Kerala, finally Pataudi walked to the kitchen and fried the eggs the way he wanted. He had no egos and airs and played cricket the hard way. He loved playing practical jokes. Once when we were in the West Indies for a match, he had shot an alligator. He carried the alligator and nicely tucked it in one of the player's bed.
Keywords: Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi