Top 10 Lesser Known Facts About Nawab Pataudi



He was the first Indian captain who showed India to play with pride and passion and also holds the record for engineering India’s first overseas win in 1967 in New Zealand. However, as is the wont of royal families the Nawab of Pataudi Mansur Ali Khan was also a reclusive individual who shared very little about his personal life but in this article you will get to know some of the unsung facts about his life that never got too much attention from the fans or the press.

10. Gin Was His Favourite Drink

To top off this rather remarkable list of facts about the life of one of India’s most charismatic cricketers and in fact of the world is his favourite drink, which he used to unwind with after a hard days duty on the field. The drink he used to like most was gin and it used to be his evening companion in the evening for most of the time. It goes without saying that being a Nawab he had tasted almost all sorts of liquor but as far as his favourite was concerned it always was gin and tonic.

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9. His Was the First Cricketer-Film Star Wedding in India

You must have noticed the affinity that film stars have towards the cricketers in India and vice versa but one thing you need to be aware of is that it was the Nawab of Pataudi himself who first started the trend when he married the leading lady of the 1960s Sharmila Tagore after a much publicised affair. He might not have realised at the time that he had started a trend that will go on forever but at the time it was the first such instance and was perhaps the most famous marriage of the 1960s in India.

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8. The Nawab had a Difficult Relationship with His Son

At number 8 is a rather conscientious aspect of the Nawab’s life that’s something he did not prefer to talk about much but his relationship with his son and Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan was a difficult one right from the time the latter dropped out of Oxford and made a foray into the film industry. He did not want his only son to get into showbiz but rather wanted him to concentrate on his academics and perhaps become a Blue (someone at Oxford who has represented the university in any sport versus Cambridge University). For many years he had not even watched any of his movies but their relationship improved later on when he realised that his son had made something of himself on the silver screen after all.

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7. He Used to Be an Incorrigible Practical Joker

Although the Nawab of Pataudi carried himself with all the regal elegance that royalty had bestowed on him; at heart he was a practical joker par excellence which many of his friends and fellow cricketers found to their cost. In one of the most famous incidents, Tiger had frightened the living daylights out of Times of India sports journalist K. N. Prabhu by arriving at his door in a frightening mask and a white bed sheet at the middle of the night. When you look at his photographs you might not realise the sort of diabolical practical jokes that he could think up but it was all done in good humour, like when once he had asked his servants to impersonate dacoits and kidnap Gundappa Vishwanath when the cricketers went to his hometown!

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6. Continental Cuisine Used to be His Favourite

In at number 6 is Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s favourite and it is hardly a surprising fact that his favourite used to be continental or European food rather than the traditional Indian affair, because he had spent the majority of his formative years in England and Europe where he developed a taste for the continental fare. So, although he enjoyed Indian cooking and Awadhi cuisine to the hilt his favourite dishes remained Devilled Crab, Chicken Milanese and Pepper Crab among others. In fact, he used to visit Paris on culinary expeditions every year during his youth to get a taste of the latest the continent had to offer.

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5. He Had a Passion for Hunting Tigers

Like most individuals related to royal families in India, Mansur Ali Khan also had a passion for hunting and they used to be elaborate events as you would expect with royalty. According to the Nawab himself, he first went on a hunting trip at the age of seven and although he had a gun in hand he was asked not to fire it under any circumstance but when he eventually spotted a tiger he fired instinctively in the air. That was how his passion for hunting started and in later years he would take many cricketers along with him on hunting trips as well.

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4. He Studied Arabic as a Subject at Oxford

Most of you would agree that anyone going to Oxford for his or her university education would surely choose English as an elective but it was not so for Tiger and his choice of subjects at Oxford makes a deserved entry at number 4 in these rankings. Although he had been educated in England since prep school, the Nawab of Pataudi never forgot his Islamic roots and so when the time came to choose his subjects at university he chose Arabic as an elective for his undergraduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford.

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3. Tiger was Not a Nickname that was given to Him by His Teammates

You might have heard a million times that Nawab Pataudi was called ‘Tiger’ by everyone because of his tiger like movements on the field when he used to field but nothing could be far from the truth because it was actually a name that was given to him by his parents when he was a toddler. The reason why his parents gave him that name was because of the prowling manner in which he used to crawl on the floor as a toddler. Since then, the name had stuck, which you would agree is as lovable as it is glamorous.

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2. He Went to the Same School as Douglas Jardine

At number 2 is the little known but hugely important trivia about the Nawab of Pataudi’s school and the fact that he went to the same school as one of the most controversial figures in the history of the game- Douglas Jardine, the progenitor of Bodyline. The Nawab went to the exclusive Winchester College for his higher school education and it was the same school where Douglas Jardine studied 10 years prior to him. It has been said that the Spartan life in the school shaped Jardine’s leadership skills but it must be said that it shaped the Nawab’s leadership skills too but in a completely different way.

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1. He Became a Nawab (King) at the Age of 11

Everyone knows that Mansur Ali Khan was the Nawab of Pataudi but what most people do not know is the age at which he had to become the Nawab and admittedly under tragic circumstances, which makes it the least known fact in his life. He became the Nawab of Pataudi at the age of 11, after his father Ifthikar Ali Khan Pataudi died of a heart attack while playing a polo match.  However, what makes it an even more tragic occurrence was that his father died on his birthday and the mantle of leadership that fell upon his shoulders at the age of 11 must have hardened him into becoming the leader he eventually became.

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Hopefully you have enjoyed the top 10 facts about the life of Nawab Pataudi and found it a pleasing read. Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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