In his acceptance speech on the occasion here last evening, Natekar said, "This one takes the cake. It's an absolutely unique honour to become a member of this club as only the sixth member”.

Natekar has been added to the elite list of club members that include cricket legends Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, with Kapil Dev set to be added as the seventh member on his 58th birthday on January 6, 2017.

Natekar, who travelled to the Cricket Club of India that patronises the Legends Club – from his present home in Pune, recalled his journey as a badminton player and at the fag-end of the speech expressed regret that he had not given back anything to the shuttle game after his playing days.

“I have a confession to make. So many people talk about giving back to the game through coaching like Prakash Padukone, (Pullela) Gopichand and Uday Pawar, who is here, are doing. I did nothing of the sort," said Natekar who had reached the singles quarter-finals of the All-England Championship, then considered the unofficial world championships, in his only  appearance in 1954 through the 'Natekar Fund', set up by badminton lovers.
"I started playing tennis (his first and enduring love) the day after I quit badminton and was into music. I have given nothing back to the game," candidly said Natekar, who switched full time to badminton after losing to tennis legend Ramanathan Krishnan in the finals of the junior
nationals in 1951.

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