Actress Sharmila Tagore’s angst over BCCI’s delay in instituting the Pataudi Trophy in memory of her departed husband Tiger Pataudi, is understandable.
The England and Wales Cricket Board recognised the contribution of Jr and Sr Pataudi (who also played for England) and the Pataudi Trophy came into force since 2007. Agreed, the BCCI have presented the Anthony De Mello Trophy to past winners of India vs England series at home, but it had stopped doing so in the last decade or so.
The cricket bosses should have got back to Sharmila to tell her that there is already a trophy for India and England to play for at home instead of her having to hear it from a statement the BCCI issued on Tuesday evening.
It is odd to have teams play for one trophy at home and another abroad as is the case with India vs England. But that is how it will be!
Now that the BCCI has renewed the importance of the De Mello Trophy, cricket lovers should see it being presented to the winning captain of the forthcoming India vs England contest. There is no photographic evidence in sight that Dhoni received the De Mello Trophy for India’s victory in the 2008-09 Test series in India.
The establishment can find another way to ensure the series’ sponsors get their mileage. The Board has been generous in financially rewarding their past and present cricketers, but true honour lies not in big bucks, but sentiment.
Pataudi may have had his run-ins with the Board, but nothing can erase history. He changed the face of Indian cricket when he took over the captaincy after Nari Contractor had his skull broken on the West Indies tour of 1961-62 and Indian cricket benefited from his charisma and leadership.
The BCCI will not appreciate Sharmila’s views on their efficiency, but sporting spirit must come shining through in good and bad times.
Tiger must get his pound of honour.