Kolkata: Pakistan’s world cup winning captain Imran Khan on Monday revealed that during his formative years he looked up to Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for inspiration.
Addressing a gathering at the Tiger Pataudi Memorial Lecture here, Imran said there was a certain engima about Tiger Pataudi whose academic qualification was equally noteworthy as his cricketing exploits.
“I grew up admiring two persons. One was my first cousin Javed Burki and the other being Mansoor Ali Khan… The duo played together at the Oxford University about a decade before me."
“My idol (Burki) would tell me if Mansoor Ali Khan had not lost vision in one eye, he would have broken all the records. The quality of strokes he could play with one eye, mere mortals cannot play…"
He further said that what made Pataudi different was he had quality education along with playing international cricket, something that had helped on the field.
“I had always looked up to him. Excelling in education and playing international sport is the most difficult thing to. It takes incredible willpower. But once you do it you have a huge advantage," he said.
“I had an advantage of quality education. I also had the advantage of going to the Oxford University. Quality cricket and education both complement each other."
“The greatest thing education does is, it structures your mind. The key behind successful people is how you handle failure rather than success. Power of analysis is sharpened by education. I could analyse my own mistakes so you could correct them."
“We were in awe of Tiger. He was so casual. Cricket was not his bread and butter. If it become your profession, you would never take the risk to achieve great heights. You would always try to play safe. You aim high, take risks and develop this fearlessness. What makes you invincible is self-belief."
Imran believes that Tiger Pataudi’s on-field flamboyance had a lot to do with the fact that he believed that cricket was a game which should be enjoyed.
“Tiger treated cricket as something which was to be enjoyed. That’s why he was so flambouyant and had the charisma."
He cited the instance of their 1979 tour to India where Zaheer Abbas had failed in three consecutive Tests only to term it as “black magic."
“There was huge interest in the series as it was happening for the first time after 26 years. Even practice matches were jampacked. There was immense pressure."
“We had come here after thrashing India 2-0 at home. We were a much better team than India. We had Zaheer Abbas, never seen a better timer of the ball than him. He was a gift of God. But he failed in the first match and he kept looking at himself in the mirror, suspecing his vision.
“He failed again in the next match and he was testing his grip. He failed in the third Test again and told me to me it was black magic."