Mango king Haji Kalimullah has no birthday gift for Tendulkar

Apr 24, 2012, 08:14 IST | Bipin Dani

Haji Kalimullah Khan may not need any introduction in the world of mangoes, but the 72-year-old farmer from Malihabad in Lucknow district (Uttar Pradesh) has only one regret: His new variety of mango called 'Sachin' cannot be delivered to batting legend on his 39th birthday today.

Speaking over telephone from his farmhouse, Khan said: “The tree was grafted a few years ago and I expected 40-50 mangoes to be ready this year, but it may take one more month to be delivered to Sachin Tendulkar. “I don’t know whether Sachin likes this fruit, but he is a son of India and this is my humble effort to name this mango after master blaster.” 

I’m loving it: Sachin Tendulkar eats a mango during a practice session in Mohali in 2005. Pic/AFP

Talking about his interest in planting mango trees, Khan, who has won several awards in mango exhibitions, said, “I scored zero marks in English following which I left school and developed interest in mangoes.”  Khan has produced nearly 300 varieties of mangoes and has won India’s top civilian award for his work on mango grafting and cultivation. The Class VII dropout has been looking after his family business since 1957. The family business is more than 150 years old. One variety of mango is named after actress  Aishwarya Rai.  

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