BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj and several other political leaders have condoled the death of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, former captain of the Indian cricket team.
The 70-year-old cricketer breathed his last here this evening after battling a lung infection. He is survived by wife Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan and daughters Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan.
“His stylish batting style and agile fielding abilities define a new generation of Indian cricketers of that period,” the president said.
In his condolence message , the vice president said: “I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, eminent cricketer and sportsperson. Pataudi’s contributions to the game of cricket throughout his life as a player, captain, coach and analyst need no elaboration.”
Ansari said that Pataudi embodied the quintessential gentleman of the game of cricket and promoted the game with all effort. “His absence from the game of cricket and public life is a terrible loss. My wife joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and the wide circle of his admirers and friends,” Ansari said.
Sonia Gandhi said the void created by Pataudi’s death in sports and public arena will be difficult to fill.
Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter: “I am sorry to hear about the unfortunate demise of Tiger Pataudi. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
Her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley described Tiger Pataudi as one of the greatest captains India has ever produced.
Union Agriculture & Food Processing Minister Sharad Pawar expressed shock and grief at the demise of the former Indian cricketer.
In his condolence message, he said: “I am deeply saddened to know about the sad demise of ‘Tiger’ Pataudi. A very fine cricketer, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi became the youngest captain of the Indian team at the age of 21 only. He was a great batsman, fielder and an outstanding captain and who led his team with great courage despite damaged vision in his right eye.”
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described him as one of the finest cricketers of all time.
“He was a legendary cricketer who had become captain of the Indian team at the age of 21. His contribution in taking Indian cricket to new heights will always be remembered,” Dikshit said in her condolence message.