Geoffrey Boycott refused to believe my father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was visually impaired: Saif Ali Khan

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the first-ever captain to lead India to a Test series win overseas. One of the finest leaders Indian cricket has ever seen, Pataudi first captained India in a Test match in West Indies just a few months after suffering a tragic accident which left him with visual impairment in his right eye. Nonetheless, the former India captain never let the weakness become his enemy on the field and was India’s best batsman for almost a decade.

Recently, Bollywood actor and his son Saif Ali Khan revealed former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott had once raised questions over the visual impairment of his father, who played without sight in his damaged right eye for the most part of his career.

“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,” Saif said in a live interaction with Sportskeeda.

Pataudi, who rarely lost his cool and was a humble character, got annoyed when he heard about Boycott’s comments from Saif.

“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,” Saif recalled.

Pataudi led India in 40 out of 46 Tests he played. Under his captaincy, India defeated New Zealand in a Test series in 1967 which marked the country’s first overseas series victory. In 46 Tests between 1961 to 1975, Pataudi amassed 2793 runs at an average of 34.91  including six centuries and 16 fifties. He had a tremendous first-class record with15,425 runs in 310 matches including 33 centuries and 75 half-centuries.

The former India captain passed away on September 22, 2011, due to respiratory illness.

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Vishwas Gupta