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The right man for Pakistan cricket

Shaharyar Khan, an aristocratic gentleman, is the ideal man to manage Pakistan's cricket team, writes K Natwar Singh.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2004 00:59 IST

The manager of the Pakistan team is Shaharyar Mohammed Khan. He has been gracious enough to send me an invitation to watch all the matches of the Indo-Pak series.

Shaharyar and I have known each other for 50 years. We were both at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and both entered the foreign services of our respective countries.

In the mid-nineteen seventies, we were both posted in London as Deputy High Commissioners. His grandfather, the late Nawab of Bhopal, and my wife's grandfather Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala were friends in the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties.

Shaharyar was Pakistan's foreign secretary between 1990-94 and retired as Pakistan's ambassador to France. He was also the United Nations secretary-general's representative in Rwanda.

He was last in India to launch his book, "The Begums of Bhopal" in 2000. The book was published in London. I was one of the speakers at the Delhi launch of the book at the India International Centre.

Even at times when Indo-Pak relations were not as cordial as now, Shaharyar maintained his personal relations with his Indian friends. That required courage. He is an aristocratic gentleman. He is the ideal man to manage his country's cricket team. I am looking forward to meeting him in Pakistan sometime in the next few weeks. I have not been to Pakistan since 1988 — President Zia-ul-Haq's funeral. If ever we have a combined Indo-Pak team to take on the Rest of the World, I would opt for Shaharyar to be it's manager.

(Natwar Singh is the former minister of state for External Affairs and a career diplomat)

First Published: Mar 11, 2004 00:51 IST