The ongoing five-match Test series between England and India has been dominated by England so far and they have a 1-0 lead over India with the win at Edgbaston. England also has the edge over India in the second Test at Lord’s.
The winner of the series will get their hands on the Pataudi Trophy. Instituted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 2007, the Pataudi Trophy was introduced to commemorate 75 years of Test cricket between India and England.
The trophy is named after the late Mansoor Ali Khan, former India captain and his father Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, who also played for England in Test cricket. Sharmila Tagore, famous Bollywood actor, and wife of late Mansoor Ali Khan will be present at the Oval, where the fifth Test will be played, to give away the trophy to the winner.
However, Sharmila Tagore is asking clarification this time, as to clear the confusion if this series is the Pataudi Trophy or the Specsavers Test series- named after ECB sponsors.
“The Pataudi Trophy was instituted by the MCC quite a few years ago but I am not sure whether it was cleared with the ECB or the BCCI at the time. The BCCI did make it clear that when England play in India it would be called the Anthony de Mello Trophy,” Sharmila told Sportstar from Dehradun on Saturday.
She also recalled an incident in 2011, when Mansoor Ali Khan, who was nicknamed Tiger, was left wondering which trophy was he supposed to give away.
Sharmila said, “Tiger was invited by the ECB to present the Pataudi trophy at the Oval in London in 2011. I had accompanied him. At the official lunch, they rehearsed how the trophy presentation would be conducted. However, when it was time to felicitate the winners, Mike Atherton, who was the presenter of the ceremony, did not announce the Pataudi trophy. He was reading out from the list he had been given which leads me to think perhaps the ECB had not cleared the matter with their sponsors and so it had been omitted as a result. The English team was taken away for photo opportunities and to celebrate and Tiger was left standing by the trophy. Andrew Strauss, the English captain at the time, noticed Tiger standing unsure of what to do and went over to him.”
Tagore said further, “Tiger handed him the trophy but this exchange was neither photographed nor televised. This was in August. We had gone to London especially at the invitation of the ECB for the presentation of the Pataudi Trophy and so we were naturally a little confused that things had not gone as planned as late as the official lunchtime of the same day as the match.”
She also recalled the same confusion during the 2014 series, when she was invited by the ECB, but the official cup was called the Investec series after the sponsors. “The ECB did include the Pataudi trophy in the presentation, but the official cup was called the Investec series after the sponsors. The fact that there are two trophies with two different names for one winning team creates a fair amount of ambiguity especially when only the sponsor trophy is covered by the media," she says.
Sharmila Tagore advised a solution to this conundrum, “Naturally the family would like the trophy to be called the Pataudi Trophy - perhaps it could be called the Pataudi Trophy sponsored by Investec or the relevant sponsor - but we understand that this is the ECB’s prerogative. However, the situation as it stands is unsatisfactorily ambiguous and some clarification is required.”
Sharmila, however, praised the BCCI for instituting the Pataudi Memorial lecture, which was most recently delivered by former England captain Kevin Pietersen. “They have instituted the Pataudi Memorial Lecture and it has been conducted every year with great success. Most recently the lecture was delivered by Kevin Pietersen and it was absolutely brilliant,” said Sharmila Tagore.
(With inputs from sportstarlive.com)