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Saif Ali Khan Unveils Memories Of Tiger Pataudi: A Father’s Influence Beyond Cricket | People News

New Delhi: Saif Ali Khan, initially hesitant to delve into his emotions regarding his father, iconic cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi, finally opens up on the occasion of Pataudi’s 83rd birth anniversary falling on January 5.

“After much convincing,” Saif shares, “when a parent is gone, and you miss him, for his wisdom and for what he might have contributed to you now… it’s nice to be able to watch old interviews where they show who the parent was and how he thought. Something like Superman watching holograms of Jor-el after Krypton has been destroyed.”

Saif, drawn to nostalgia whenever he misses his father, finds solace in revisiting old articles and videos about Tiger Pataudi.

“I find myself reading or watching things about him from time to time when I miss him. When I was younger, you could pick up any book on cricket and flip to the index and find where the two Pataudis, my father and his father, are featured; and I would be very proud. He achieved some incredible feats with one eye.”

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Tiger Pataudi lost sight in his right eye in a car accident in England in July 1961. Remarkably, his entire international cricketing career, consisting of 46 Tests, was played with just one eye.

Reflecting on his father’s personality, Saif recalls, “As a person, he was cool under fire, very calm at all times. He told the funniest stories, and his quiet support meant the world to us, his children, as it did to his teammates.”

Contemplating what it would have been like to have the legend on the cricket field today, Saif envisions the media embracing his father’s unique style and recalls his distinctive open batting stance.

“And that hat he wore rakishly angled across his bad eye. No one in the history of the sport has ever come back from that kind of accident and got hundreds against England and Australia. It’s the greatest sporting comeback in the history of the game.”

For Saif, Tiger Pataudi’s legacy is timeless.

“His legacy to us, his family, is always with us: A sense of honor and poise; style and dignity with all things. He had an incredible life: From the jungles and palaces of Bhopal to the rarefied atmosphere of Winchester and Oxford, to the great cricket grounds all over the world to his home in Delhi, where he would lounge in his kurta lungi, reading and watching birds and squirrels in the garden through his window.”

Saif concludes with words from his father’s book, “Tiger’s Tale.”

“I find his words in his book to be so apt: ‘They say in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king! But not so in the keen-eyed world of cricket, where I have had to settle for something less than the perfection (!!) I once sought. But still, lucky me; to have traveled this world and played this great game in the company of giants!'”

Saif emotionally adds, “Rest in peace Tiger Pataudi. Abba, we love you and miss you.” 

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