Iftekhar Ali Khan Pataudi was a curious royal. He excelled in Cricket, scored a laborious century on Ashes Debut, had enough conscience and conviction in him to object to Douglas Jardine’s Bodyline tactics, and didn’t budge from his stand despite the threat of his career being aborted loomed on his head, earned a comeback in England team, and ended his cricket career captaining India in 1946 when he was well past of his prime, yet by the virtue of being blue-blooded.
If this was not enough, he sired Mansoor, a dazzling batsman, and the first really aggressive captain India had, after C K Nayudu.
But Nawab of Pataudi (Sr.) was not merely limited to cricket. He was an olympian too. In the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, he was a part of the Indian Hockey squad, albeit he only played in the warm-up matches.
However, having represented India in Hockey in 1928, he chose to play cricket for Englan
d. In 1932, when India played its maiden test match in England, Pataudi (Sr.) was asked to be a part of the Indian squad, but he declined. He was eyeing a place in the 1932 Ashes Squad, which was to play the series which later became infamous by the name Bodyline. Here he showed admirable courage and conviction in defying Jardine and lost his place in the England side.
So, by and large, he did show the character of being a good royal, he fell from the eyes of the Indian fans when he declined to play for his country to get a place in the team of the nation which had enslaved Indians.
This is a curious part of his personality, and just makes us realize that we can admire the cricket abilities of a person, but when we look at him as a human being, we can often find him having feet of clay.