Indore, July 29: Family members of India's former Test cricketer, Late Captain Syed Mushtaq Ali, who had scored the first century for the country on a foreign pitch in 1936, have demanded that the sportsman's "unfulfilled dream" of having a cricket museum in the city be entertained.
According to the family, Mushtaq Ali, who died on June 18, 2005, always wished to create a museum in the city to preserve memorabilia like bats used during the Holkar period, rare photographs, among other things. However, due to legal cases and other problems, it is yet to take shape.
The Holkar Dynasty ruled over the terrains of Indore in the eighteenth century. "In 1995-96, I had told the then Chief Minister Digvijay Singh about my father's wish when he was alive that he wished to set-up a museum in the city to preserve memories associated with the Holkar era cricket," Mushtaq Ali's son and former Ranji player, Gulrez Ali said.
The erstwhile rulers of Indore, Holkars have patronised cricket a lot during the pre-Independence period. "Following this, the Chief Minister moved a proposal in the Cabinet and a government house situated behind the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Medical College where Mushtaq Ali was born on December 17, 1914 was allotted for the purpose," he said.
However, the allotment was later stayed by the High Court, following a petition after which it was caught into a legal problems. Later, Mushtaq Ali also stopped pursuing the matter. Gulrez said that government should now come forward to set up a museum to preserve memories associated with the Holkar period in the birth centenary year of the cricketer next year.
Noted writer on cricket issues, Surya Prakash Chaturvedi said that Mushtaq Ali was a "real son-of-the-soil" for Madhya Pradesh as far as the game of cricket is concerned.
Chaturevdi said that the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) had approved a proposal few years back to create a museum to preserve the memories of great cricketers like C K Naidu and Mushtaq Ali, but it was not given any final shape.
According to him since the centenary year of the great cricketer is approaching next year, the state government should undertake steps to set up the museum.
Mushtaq Ali debuted in the Test cricket in 1934 from Eden Gardens in Calcutta (Kolkata). However, he shot to fame when he scored a century (112) against England at Old Trafford Ground in Manchester, which was the first made by any Indian on a foreign pitch.
The century was also significant on the ground that those were the days when India was being ruled by the British Empire. Mushtaq Ali along with Vijay Merchant scored 203 runs as opening pair.