The Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture which the BCCI organised in Chennai yesterday should not be the only way of remembering the great former captain, who revolutionised cricket in India. It must be remembered that the lecture was an idea mooted by Pataudi’s wife Sharmila Tagore and the real big honour should come by naming a trophy after Pataudi, who passed away more than a year ago.
Several cricket lovers reckon that the cricket establishment does not encourage advice on such matters. Just like the BCCI work towards filling up their coffers through various financial deals, they must also invest in the true spirit of cricket. How about instituting a trophy in honour of Pataudi? Probably, India and New Zealand should fight for the MAK Pataudi trophy which will be apt because he captained India to a rare series win there in 1967-68. Unfortunately, that triumph is not brought up often. Fact is, that was India’s first overseas Test series win.
It is important that the BCCI choose well as to which series/tournament should be played in honour of Pataudi. An example of a bad choice is the Corporate Trophy which is named after Raj Singh Dungarpur. For a tournament that does not attract the cream of Indian cricket this is certainly not an apt way of remembering one of its finest visionaries.
The road blockers will bring up the fact that India and England play for the Pataudi Trophy in England, but that was instituted by the MCC in honour of the Pataudi family (MAK’s father played for England before India). The BCCI, for all their wealth and benevolence towards past and present cricketers are not known for their alacrity in honouring their former soldiers and generals and that’s what current commentators must bring up from time to time.