New Delhi : An emotional plea by actress Sharmila Tagore to name the India-England cricket series in honour of her late husband Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was on Tuesday turned down by the BCCI which said it could not change the name of series played under the name of its first secretary since 1951.

 Four days after Sharmila wrote an email letter to BCCI President N Srinivasan expressing her displeasure over the Board’s reluctance to name the series after the late Pataudi, the Board said the India-England series in India has always been 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 BCCI statement came hours after the contents of   Sharmila’s letter was reported by the media.

 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 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 added.

 Sharmila had also written on the delay in formalising a Pataudi Memorial Lecture in and the Board’s reluctance in resolving a few legal issues involving her late husband, a former Indian captain.

                — PTI

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