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Edward Craig: You can't bag Tiger Pataudi

October 15th, 2009 by Edward Craig in Champions League


Decide to go for a wander around Delhi – Connaught Place is the tourist shopping centre – a layout of confusing and massive circular roads, stuffed full with shops, people, markets and offices. There’s also a beautiful park in the centre.

I am not sure what it is but people spot me as a visitor – I even put on a sunhat to cover the ginger hair and hid my camera in my rucksack – but they still come up offering help.

“Polish your shoes, sir?” I am wearing flip-flops and suggest that it might not the easiest job. “Anything is possible, sir. Anything.”

We walk further down the street and avoid a tuc-tuc crossing the pavement.

“Where you from sir?” England I say, worried that I’ll be led off to buy a high-quality bag.

“London, sir?” No, Corbridge, I say, becoming wilfully obscure.

“Ah. Very expensive, sir,” he replies, displaying surprising knowledge on the sustained property boom in the Newcastle green belt.

“Why you here, sir – business or travel, sir?” Business, I say. I am here to watch the cricket, I am a journalist.

“Ah. Cricket. The Twenty20 at Feroz Shah, sir. The wicket is very low and dead – it is not good.” He’s right. “But one player has mastered it, sir.” His eyes flash and he grins: “Sehwag.” He’s right, of course, Sehwag had blitzed a fifty the day before when no one else could do much more than push a single to the boundary.

“Who is your favourite England player?” he asks, the ‘sir’ has disappeared, and the question stumps me. I suddenly realise I don’t actually like any of the England players much. Pietersen probably, I think he’s misrepresented – but I can’t bring myself to say that. I say no one.

“Who’s your favourite Indian player?” This tends to be a question with a right and a wrong answer: Sachin or Sehwag are the right answer. But I tell him the truth – I say the Nawab of Pataudi, India’s ground-breaking captain from the 60s and 70s.

“No way,” he says. “He’s not played for a long time.” His eyes glaze over. He seems to have become all reverential. “He is great player, a great man,” and he gives me some of Tiger Pataudi’s Test stats.

He seems in awe of Pataudi – if Sachin or Sehwag is God, then Pataudi is their God. God’s God. That’s how he views it.

We’ve now arrived at his market stand and I hadn’t even noticed. “Good bag, this is a good bag. Very high quality.”

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in Champions League | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Edward Craig: You can't bag Tiger Pataudi”

  1.   kiwi says:

    brilliant-I only hope Tiger sees it

  2.   GCB says:

    Very predictable Ed - almost as predictable as your father loving it. One big OWCC love in.

  3.   King Cricket says:

    I remember how much attention simply being from England can bring. I was tempted into being Croatian on occasions when I was tired and couldn’t be bothered.

    With that in mind, I think I’d be adopting a different occupation sometimes, if I were you.

  4.   Nawab of Pataudi says:

    Yes. I am God

  5.   Ed King says:

    what a joke of an article. the wisden cricketer used to be a respected magazine.
    please cancel my subscription.
    where’s that gideon haigh gone…

  6.   bgc says:

    Corbridge update: For the past 12 hours plus it has been drizzling steadily in Corbridge - well I assume so; I am 18 miles to the east.

    Like-able cricketers - hmmm, an interesting category. Probably not one that would promote widespread agreement.

    But what about James Anderson? Surely he seems a likeable England cricketer.

  7.   Barry says:

    What kind of hat is that? I wouldn’t talk to a man wearing a hat as bad as that.

  8.   Dunners says:

    But what was the bag you bought like?

  9.   Edward Craig says:

    I have owned higher quality bags …

  10.   Claire says:

    I hope you used your world-renowned haggling skills to get that bag for a good price…

  11.   Jonah Fisher says:

    Handbags or cricket bags?

  12.   David Matthews says:

    Nothing like a bit of name dropping and its good to see it is not just an OWCC love-in. The Edward Craig family and friend [sic] love-in continues as we eagerly await more updates.

  13.   Victoria Robertson says:

    You look more English than the English so I expect that might have something to do with the fact that you got found out to be a tourist.

    Claire thinks the bag is for her but don’t forget Christmas and your mother

  14.   Canada Cricket HQ says:

    I saw an English couple at Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan while I was on vacation there. They got all the attention. Pakistanis and Indians are very friendly and hospitable, but you can be sure we will always try to close the sale!

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