21 October, 2020

To The Glamour Born

The feline authority of the ‘Noob’ pushed me to do a Grace as umpire

To The Glamour Born

The first time I met Tiger Pataudi was in October 1961. We met in his rooms at Balliol College in Oxford. He had invited some friends to listen to some Indian classical music. He provided the accompaniment on the tabla. Tiger, by then, was already the most famous student at Oxford. The Nawab of Pataudi was rated as the best batsman to have ever played for Oxford. He was without doubt something of a legend at Oxford. He cut a dashing figure, with his aristocratic features. But what made him special was the kind of cricket he played. Cavalier, swashbuckling, flamboyant—these are some of the words that come to mind.

A close friend and contemporary of ours at Oxford, Mueen Afzal, had this to say about Tiger, whom we affectionately referred to as the ‘Noob’: “Sad to hear of the death of the original Noob. The year 1961 was when he was at his best. I was fortunate to see him bat against the leading bowlers in English cricket: Statham, Trueman, Titmus, Illingworth, Tattersall, Wilson et al. That summer the Aussies came...



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