RAJKOT: For a contest attaining marquee status, it’s somewhat strange that the Test series between India and England does not have a dedicated trophy. There is of course the Ashes and the recently named series like Border-Gavaskar Trophy and Freedom Trophy (India-South Africa) that the contestants play for, irrespective of where they are playing.
The winner’s prize for India-England series in England is called Pataudi Trophy (MAK Pataudi). Instituted in 2007, it has been played for in 2011 and 2014 as well. The same in India used to be known as Anthony de Mello Trophy (named after the first BCCI secretary) till England’s previous visit four years ago. What the teams are fighting for this series is the Paytm Trophy. There are no talks of renaming it, or giving this rivalry a universal identity, independent of venue. Decisions taken by the two boards to play five Tests instead of three or four have somehow overlooked this aspect.
Talking to Express, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said, “It’s called Pataudi Trophy only when it’s played in England. At the moment, there is no plan to discuss whether it can be called Pataudi Trophy in India as well, or if there should be another name.” Busy obtaining court orders for funds to host the ongoing series, this aspect might have escaped the BCCI’s attention.
“We have no news why this isn’t played for the Anthony de Mello Trophy. What we can say is, like every series in recent times, this one is named after the sponsor, Paytm in this case,” said a BCCI spokesperson.
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s spokesperson with the team, Daniel Reuben, said this is what the two boards decided. “The teams are playing for Paytm Trophy. Pataudi Trophy is only in England and was held in 2007, 2011 and 2014. There were discussions sometime ago to call it Pataudi Trophy in India as well. But there are no current plans to do something like that.”
It makes this duel the only one between Test-playing nations following different names. Australia and the West Indies play for the Frank Worrell Trophy no matter where it takes place. Contests between Sri Lanka and Australia are for the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy in both countries.