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I don't want to play for Delhi anymore: Saif Ali Khan recollects when Tiger Pataudi asked for a job in Hyderabad

Tiger Pataudi is widely regarded as one of India
Tiger Pataudi is widely regarded as one of India's greatest ever captains
Sai Krishna
Modified 17 Jul 2020

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan recently opened up about his family's rich cricketing history and in particular his father, the legendary Tiger Pataudi.

In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket's Facebook page, Saif Ali Khan narrated various fascinating stories from his father's cricketing days.

In one of these anecdotes, the actor mentioned that the Nawab of Pataudi didn't want to play for Delhi due to differences with the management, and played under former Indian Test cricketer ML Jaisimha in Hyderabad.

"He (Tiger) had trouble with the Delhi administration, and they weren't getting along. So he told Tiger, 'I don't think you'll play for North Zone'. So Tiger called Jaisimha and told him he wanted to come to South Zone and that he didn't want to play in Delhi anymore," said Saif Ali Khan.

He even stated that his father refused to captain South Zone out of respect towards Jaisimha, despite the former being the Indian captain at the time.

"So Jaisimha's father 'hired' Tiger. Jaisimha was captaining South Zone and Tiger was captaining India. Everyone assumed that the captain of India would captain South Zone, but Tiger said, 'No, I want to learn about South Zone and I will play under Jai'. This, I thought, was very cool," he added.

Saif Ali Khan on his cricket-influenced childhood

Saif Ali Khan comes from a family with a rich cricketing history
Saif Ali Khan comes from a family with a rich cricketing history

When asked about the influence of cricket on his childhood in the presence of so many greats of the game, Saif Ali Khan stated that the books he read had a huge impact on him.

"My grandfather used to have a lot of books lying around, people like Len Hutton. Some of these books and photographs are still here, and my grandfather was quite a collector unlike my father."
"'Indian Summer' by John Arlott, the writing is incredible, like when Norman Mailer writes about George Foreman and Muhammad Ali," added Saif Ali Khan.

Saif Ali Khan's father, the legendary Tiger Pataudi, played 46 Tests for India and became the captain at the young age of 21. After an unfortunate accident damaged his vision in one eye, Pataudi often played with the eye covered but still managed to hold his own against the best of bowlers.

Published 17 Jul 2020, 17:31 IST
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