MCC to donate Pataudi Trophy for India-England Test series

By Ashis Ray, IANS

London : The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has decided to donate a Pataudi Trophy – like the "Ashes" – for India-England test series from now onwards to mark India's 75 years in Test cricket. The trophy will be unveiled on July 19, the opening day of the first Test at Lord's.

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According to an official announcement by MCC, the trophy will honour the two Nawabs of Pataudi – Iftikhar Ali Khan and Mansur Ali Khan – especially the former who played for both England and India.

Iftikhar, or Pataudi Sr, made his debut in December 1932 at Sydney in the "bodyline" series, scoring a century. However, because of alleged differences between him and his captain, Douglas Jardine, architect of the bodyline theory, he was dropped for the next Test and never appeared for England again.

In 1946, however, he led the Indian team to England. He also turned out for Worcestershire in county cricket.

His son Mansur, popularly known as "Tiger", played for and captained Oxford University and Sussex, but returned to India to make his maiden appearance for his country in 1961.

In about six months thereafter, he became skipper of the Indian team, after Nari Contractor was struck on the head by a Charlie Griffith delivery in Barbados. He remains one of India's most successful captains.

The Pataudi Trophy will be awarded at the Kennington Oval at the conclusion of the forthcoming three-test series in August.

India's journey in Test cricket began on June 25, 1932 when the national squad stewarded by Colonel C.K. Nayudu took on England at Lord's.

The Indians lost the three-day Test, but made a lasting impression on cricket lovers in England, particularly with the fast bowling of Mohammed Nissar and the medium-pace of Amar Singh and the fast medium of Jahangir Khan (father of Pakistan opener Majid Khan).

It was not until 1971 that India won a test in England and not till 1986 that they did so at Lord's, the Mecca of world cricket.