By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Just like his father, Iftikhar Ali Khan, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (MAK) had made a mark in the cricket world, became the most charismatic cricketer of his generation and had impressed everyone with his strokes and moves which not many would have imagined on-field in those days. As of November 2015, MAK was the youngest Indian Test captain and second youngest International Test captain worldwide. (Also Read: Kareena Kapoor Reveals One Regret She Has When Asked About Father-In-Law, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi)
Post his graduation, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had become a part of England’s domestic cricket circuit and while he was on his journey to become the next big thing in international cricket, he had met with an accident in 1961 that changed his life forever. Mansoor Ali Khan's right eye was pierced by a shard of glass from the windscreen and while the doctors had advised him to not pursue cricket, he had followed his passion and dream with the vision in only one eye and had used his focus to excel in cricket.
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was not only the Nawab of Pataudi, but Nawab of Cricket too. His son, Saif Ali Khan, during an interview with Sportskeeda, revealed how a comment from former England captain, Geoffrey Boycott had made him 'really angry'. Revealing that Boycott had doubts regarding the fact that Pataudi wasn’t able to see from his right eye, Saif said, “Boycott, who I really looked up to, made me really angry one day. He said, ‘I heard about your father, it’s not possible to play Test cricket with one eye.’ I asked him if he thinks my father is lying, to which he replied, ‘Yes! I think he’s making it up'."
Revealing his father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi's reaction to Geoffrey Boycott's comment, Saif Ali Khan continued, "I told my father that, and he got really annoyed. He said, ‘Well, I was bloody good with two eyes. I’m just good with one.’ That was the only arrogant remark I ever heard him make. If he didn’t want to tour, he would say he wasn’t available. He said it was a game and he was losing interest in the game in the ’60s because he thought there was too much cricket." (Also Read: Ibrahim Ali Khan's Cricket Shots Will Remind You Of His Late Grandfather, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi)
Long after his playing days were over, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had appeared for an interview on a show, Anmol Ratan, where he had spoken about his accident. Recalling how the accident happened, MAK had said, "The accident happened in Brighton. I was playing for Oxford against Sussex. It was the August weekend where there were three holidays. Brighton is a popular tourist destination and they happened opened two new roads for dual carriages. So there was a man who was new to the place and without looking, he came on to the main road. We were about four-five of us who had gone out for dinner after the game. Three of my mates decided they would walk home, and I sat on the front seat of the car next to the driver. So then the accident happened, the windscreen broke and a piece of the glass flew straight into my eye. The lens of my eye got destroyed."
Revealing that it had taken people around two years to realise the seriousness of the accident, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had stated, "At that time, people in India weren’t aware of the seriousness of the accident. I then got a one-year break from college and went straight to India. I started playing cricket then and soon made my Test debut, and went on to score runs in my first three matches. I managed to establish myself in the team but it took people around two years to realise that the accident I had had was serious."
How the accident had affected his right eye and his struggles with his daily chores after the accident, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had said, "The damage to my eye had a 50% impact on my game. I couldn’t do close-in fielding and even couldn’t throw the ball for a year since the accident had damaged my shoulder as well. My depth vision was affected. Since my eye had lost alignment, I used to see two versions of everything. As in if a car would be approaching me at night, I would see four headlights. If I would try to pour water into a glass, I would miss the glass. Or if I tried to light a cigarette, the flame would miss the tip. So I had to organise my life and learn how to live with it. Not many people in India knew what I was going through at that time. And I wasn’t going to tell them either." (Also Read: Unconventional Love Story Of Bengali Beauty Sharmila Tagore And Charming Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi)
Mansoor Ali Khan is not only an inspiration to every aspiring cricketer but to everyone with a dream or passion!