`A great loss to world cricket`

New Delhi: The Cricket Board (BCCI) on Thursday lamented the sudden demise of former captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, saying he brought about a revolution in Indian team`s fielding and guided the side to unprecedented heights.

The 70-year-old Pataudi passed away this evening at a city hospital after losing his battle with a lung disease, leaving behind wife Sharmila Tagore and three children, Saif Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan and Saba Ali Khan.

"I am shocked to hear the news of Tiger Pataudi`s demise. He was an exemplary individual, who guided Indian cricket to unprecedented heights, as batsman, fielder and captain," new BCCI president N Srinivasan said in a statement.

"He revolutionised fielding standards in the Indian team, and across the country. In an age wherein a draw was considered as good as a win, Tiger Pataudi encouraged his players to go flat out for victory," he added.

The BCCI president said Pataudi taught Indian cricketers how to come out of tough and challenging situations.

"He was an aggressive batsman who excelled in crisis situations, and showed the nation how to combat adversity. I join my colleagues in the BCCI to express my condolences at his passing away. His services to Indian cricket will never be forgotten," Sriniasan said.

Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman Rajeev Shukla also condoled the death of Pataudi.

"It`s a great loss to world cricket. He was an outstanding personality and a very popular figure in cricket fraternity. We had worked together in the IPL Governing Council. His contribution to IPL was immense," Shukla said.

"He inspired a generation of cricketers. The entire BCCI has expressed heartfelt condolences on his demise," he added.

BCCI Vice President and DDCA President Arun Jaitely said Pataudi was India`s one of the finest captain.

"It is sad to hear about Tiger`s death. He was one of the greatest captains India produced," Jaitely said.

Jaitley, the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, had gone to hospital to enquire about Pataudi`s health this morning.

Former BCCI treasurer and now Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Secretary M P Pandove said Pataudi`s death is a personal loss to him.

"I remember when he came first time to India from England in 1960, I alongwith B L Bhargava, who was secretary of Southern Punjab and former ADC to Senior Nawab of Pataudi, received him at Delhi. Pataudi was part of Southern Punjab and Bhargava and myself had gone to meet and give him programme for Southern Punjab`s team camp for the Ranji Trophy season.”

"However, later Vijayanagaram popularly known as `Vizzy` persuaded him to play for Delhi and ever since then we had personal relations while playing against each other in the Ranji Trophy and other matches," Pandove recalled.


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