Pataudi passes away after battling lung infection

New Delhi: Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one of India`s greatest cricket captains ever and whose flair and acumen inspired a generation of cricketers, passed away here on Thursday after battling a lung infection for the last few months.

The 70-year-old cricketer, one of India`s early superstars and who was known as `Tiger` in the cricket fraternity, was suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal.

He is survived by his wife Sharmila Tagore, his actor son Saif Ali Khan and his two daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan.

His entire family was at his bedside when the end came at 5.55 pm (IST) on Thursday evening.

"He passed away around 5.55 pm. His condition had deteriorated since yesterday. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease (interstitial pneumonitis) which worsens rapidly inspite of the best treatment available," Dr S P Byotra, Department of medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Pataudi was admitted, said.

"He was unable to maintain his oxygen level in spite of maximal treatment. He continued to remain in the ICU for nearly a month. He had this disease which had been static since the last three months and worsened very acutely over the last four weeks, the doctor said.

Dr Sumit Ray, vice chaiman, critical care, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said he died of respiratry failure leading to cardiac arrest. He was was admitted on August 29 and was concious till Wednesday evening.

"He was in the Intensive Care Unit for last three days and his condition did not improve. His family in all probability will take his body tomorrow morning", he said.

Pataudi, who lost his right eye because of an accident, played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975 and was regarded as one of India`s greatest captains.

}