In response to actress Sharmila Tagore’s plea to name the India-England Test series after her late husband Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the Cricket Board, made it clear that it could not change the name since the series is played for the Anthony De Mello trophy instituted in 1951.
“India-England Test Series in India is played for the Anthony De Mello trophy instituted in 1951 in the name of the first secretary of the BCCI, recognising his contribution to Indian cricket,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) had commissioned the Pataudi Trophy way back in 2007 in honour of the former Indian cricketer, to be presented to the winning captain at the end of future England-India Test series.
It was conceived to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first-ever India-England Test series that took place in 1932, but the BCCI did not give its official stamp of approval to the naming of the trophy, and Sharmila, in her email sent to BCCI president N Srinivasan on November 2, had expressed her disappointment.
“In 2007, when MCC proposed the institution of Pataudi Trophy for England-India series, the BCCI had clarified that the trophy is already named after Anthony De Mello,” the statement further added.
Sharmila had also written on the delay in formalising a Pataudi Memorial Lecture in the late cricketer’s honour and its reluctance in resolving a few legal issues involving her late husband, a former Indian captain.
Pataudi, who had played 46 Tests for India and scored 2793 runs at an average of 34.91, passed away on September 22, 2011. He captained India in 40 Tests.