Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan revealed that during his formative years he looked up to Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for inspiration.

Addressing a gathering at the Tiger Pataudi Memorial Lecture here on Monday, Imran said there was certain enigma about Tiger Pataudi whose academic qualification was equally noteworthy as his cricketing exploits.

“I grew up admiring two persons. One was my first cousin Javed Burki and the other being Mansoor Ali Khan... The duo played together at the Oxford University about a decade before me.”

“My idol (Burki) would tell me if Mansoor Ali Khan had not lost vision in one eye, he would have broken all the records. The quality of strokes he could play with one eye, mere mortals cannot play...”

He further said that what made Pataudi different was he had quality education along with playing international cricket, something that had helped on the field.

“I had always looked up to him. Excelling in education and playing international sport is the most difficult thing to. It takes incredible willpower. But once you do it you have huge advantage,” he said.

“We were in awe of Tiger. He was so casual. Cricket was not his bread and butter. If it become your profession, you would never take the risk to achieve great heights. You would always try to play safe. You aim high, take risks and develop this fearlessness. What makes you invincible is self-belief.”

Imran believes that Tiger Pataudi's on-field flamboyance had a lot to do with the fact that he believed that cricket was a game which should be enjoyed.

“Tiger treated cricket as something which was to be enjoyed. That's why he was so flamboyant and had the charisma.”

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