|Biographical detail : ||Grand old man of cricket, once the darling of the Indian public.
Mushtaq, a brilliant and artistic right-hand batsman who scored India’s maiden Test century abroad, in England, in 1936, was dashing and flamboyant. His popularity, especially in Calcutta after he smashed a century against Lord Tennyson’s side at Eden Gardens, in 1937-38, was amazing.
His popularity was proven at a time of considerable political unrest when crowds waved placards declaring: “No Mushtaq, no Test.” The crowd broke into the Eden Gardens pavilion, and manhandled the chairman of selectors, leaving only when he promised to have Mushtaq play (which he did).
Mushtaq was sad that the Indian cricket authorities never allowed him to serve the game in any capacity after his retirement. His autobiography, Cricket Delightful, was published in 1967.
He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 1964. The MCC made him an honorary life-member and Wisden recognised him with a special award in England in 2002.
Syed Mushtaq Ali, a tall, athletic and handsome, was the son of a police inspector and was born in Indore, central India.