Iftikhar Ali Khan

Other names: 

Nawab of Pataudi

Muhammad Iftikhar Ali Khan

Pataudi senior


Balliol College Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
Date of birth: 
16 Mar 1910
City of birth: 
Pataudi, Punjab
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
05 Jan 1952
Location of death: 
Delhi, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1926
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 

Iftikhar Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi, is the only Test cricketer to have played for both England and India. Born into the princely family of Pataudi, in the Punjab (approximately 53 miles away from Delhi), he arrived in Britain in 1926 to further his education. He joined Balliol College, Oxford, in 1927 and won hockey and cricketing blues for the University. In a notorious incident playing in the 1931 match against Cambridge, A. Ratcliffe of Cambridge set a new record for the University Match with 201 runs. Pataudi declared that he would beat that record and did exactly that in the next innings, scoring 238 not out. This record stood until 2005.

Pataudi made the England squad for the infamous Bodyline series tour of Australia in 1932-3. On his Ashes and Test debut, he scored a century, but was dropped after the second test. He only played three tests for England, with a recall in one of the Ashes tests in 1934. Pataudi returned to India and had a chance to captain India in 1936, but withdrew from the series against England. In 1946, he did captain India against England, but he was 36 years old by then.

In 1931, Iftikhar was formally installed as ruler, Nawab, of Pataudi. After Indian independence in 1947, he gave up the principality and worked for the Indian Foreign Office. He died in 1952, while playing polo, in Delhi, leaving his wife, Sajida Sultan, the daughter of the Nawab of Bhopal, three daughters, and an eleven-year old son, Mansur, who would become one of India's greatest cricketing captains.


Nawab of Bhopal (father-in-law), Hamidullah Khan, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (son, captain of India's cricket team 1962-70).



Secondary works: 

Bose, Mihir, A History of Indian Cricket (London: Deutsch, 1990)

Bose, Mihir, ‘Khan, Muhammad Iftikhar Ali, nawab of Pataudi (1910–1952)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/58835]

Elliot, Ivo (ed.), Balliol College Register (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953)

Archive source: 

News and sports footage, British Film Institute, London

V/24/832, Indian Students' Department Report, 1928-9 & 1929-30, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

College photos, Balliol College Archives, Oxford