Dad never lobbied for any kind of honour-Saif Ali Khan
An emotional Saif Ali Khan talks about being invited by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London for last night’s tribute dinner honouring his late father Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
Upala KBR (BOMBAY TIMES; June 16, 2012)
June 15 was a very special moment for the entire Pataudi family — Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan, and sisters Soha and Saba. A special sit-down dinner was hosted yesterday to honour the late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) — home to the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground — at its historic Long Room in London.
Saif, who is currently shooting in Istanbul for Race 2, took special permission for a day off to fly to London for the event. Apart from his family, his fiancée Kareena Kapoor too attended the dinner. He returns to Istanbul today. The dinner will be followed by cricket matches at Oxford and Winchester on June 22 and 23.
In 2007, the MCC had commissioned a trophy for a Test series between India and England, named the Pataudi Trophy, in honour of Tiger’s father, the 8th Nawab Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi.
Speaking to BT from London, Saif informs, “The relationship between the MCC and the Nawabs of Pataudi goes back to the time when my grandfather had worn the MCC colours on England’s tour of Australia in 1932-33. Later, my father captained India at Lord’s in 1967. It was a huge honour for us to be present at the tribute dinner at the Long Room. It’s considered to be the most revered room in the cricket world, and my mother headed the Pataudi table.”
Apart from the Pataudi table, there were other tables including the Winchester College table (the college Pataudi attended), the Sussex County Cricket Club table (Pataudi played 137 first class matches for it and captained Sussex in 1966), the University Cricket Club table, each connected to Pataudi in some way. That’s not all. Saif told us proudly, “The dinner was attended by my father’s friends from all over the world. A lot of them were friends from his early cricketing days, including his coach Frank Woolly from the Lockers Park Prep School in Hertfordshire, and Mike Brearly, an ex-President of the MCC, who spoke about my father’s international career.”
Post Brearly’s speech, a portrait of Tiger Pataudi commissioned by the MCC, was hung at the Long Room, while another was presented to Sharmila. Saif added, “I made an acceptance speech on my family’s behalf. It was extremely emotional. This kind of honour has not been bestowed on any Indian cricketer at Lord’s. My father was the kind of man who kept to himself. He didn’t go out of his way to force his views on people. My father never lobbied for any kind of honour. He lived his life with dignity and grace.”
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