Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi cortege leaves New Delhi home

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi passed away on Thursday evening battling a chronic lung cancer

New Delhi: Sep 23, 2011

Some broke into tears, some managed to hold them back. As camera crews and journalists captured his last journey, former cricketers, politicians and friends gathered at the Pataudi residence in south Delhi to bid adieu to India’s first superstar cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Street B-2 in upscale Vasant Vihar was buzzing with activity right from early Friday when Pataudi’s body was brought home from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a day after the former cricket captain died of an acute lung infection.

By 9 a.m., a huge crowd, comprising mostly family members and friends, had gathered outside the house for a last glimpse of Pataudi, who will be buried in his native village Pataudi, about 60 km from here in Haryana.

The first to arrive at his residence was former cricket board president Inderjit Singh Bindra, who couldn’t control his tears. Bindra was close to Pataudi and also got him involved in the Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Also present were legendary India captain Kapil Dev and former cricketers Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Arun Jaitley, also a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, now IPL chairman, and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit were also present to pay their homage to one of India’s finest captains.

Pataudi’s wife, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan and partner Kareena Kapoor, both Bollywood stars, and daughters Soha and Saba were inside the house, receiving mourners.

From Vasant Vihar, the body was taken in an ambulance to Pataudi. His family members offered prayers before the procession left for the village.

As the body was carried out of the residence, both Soha and Kareena burst into tears and were consoled by Saif.

Also there to pay tribute was Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik. Pataudi had a huge fan following in Pakistan, where he also had two distinguished cousins — diplomat Shaharyar Khan, who went on to become the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and Major General Isfandiyar Ali Pataudi, who a few months ago was a front-runner to take over as spy agency ISI’s chief. (IANS)