Describing Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi as the "first superstar of Indian cricket", batting great V.V.S. Laxman Wednesday hailed the "Tiger's" steely resolve to overcome the loss of one eye and perform at the highest level.
Delivering the Pataudi memorial lecture, Laxman paid rich tributes to the legendary Indian captain, saying "cricket was a far richer sport because Tiger Pataudi had graced its stage".
"For Tiger Pataudi to adjust to the loss of sight in an eye and then adapt his batting to continue to succeed at the highest level of the game, tells us a lot about the man and the steel within him.
"It is one of cricket's most extraordinary stories. How a catastrophic event in a batsman's life was turned into a mere blip, an interruption," Laxman said during the lecture attended by Team India players among others.
"What made Tiger Pataudi tick and how he made light of an injury that would have broken the spirit of most people, will continue to intrigue me.
"He had a certain aura and charisma around him, which, along with his achievements on the cricket field, elevated him to the rank of the first among equals," Laxman said.
"To overcome the loss of one eye and continue to play cricket at the highest level with lot of success is a tribute not just to his wondrous skills, but also to his determination and undying zeal," he added.