Blades of Glory, touted as a one-of-a-kind museum in India dedicated to cricket, has been awarded a ‘World Record’ by the World Record Academy in Miami, U.S.
The museum in Pune is the brainchild of Rohan Pate, a former U-19 Maharashtra cricket player. It features over 51,000 items of cricket memorabilia and has been visited by nearly 500 cricketers across the globe.
The museum has now surpassed its counterparts like the Lords’ Cricket Museum in London, the Bradman Museum in New South Wales, the West Indies Cricket Heritage Centre in Grenada and the New Zealand Cricket Museum in Welling in having the largest collection of cricket memorabilia.
The museum’s 5000 sq. ft.-long gallery, known as ‘Castle of Cricket’, has a splendid array of cricketing memorabilia including bats and balls signed by the captains of the World Cup winning teams, as well as personal cricket items signed and used by legends like Sir Donald Bradman, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Desmond Haynes, Imran Khan, Sir Viv Richards, M.S. Dhoni, V.V.S. Laxman and Virat Kohli.
‘Feather in cap’
“Cricket is akin to a religion in India and my passion for the sport led me to do this. This achievement is a feather not only in my cap, but in the caps of cricketing enthusiasts across Maharashtra and Pune,” said Mr. Pate.
In 2019, the museum was added to the ‘Google Art and Culture’ platform.
Set up in 2012, it was inaugurated by Tendulkar. Boasting the largest cricket-related collection in the world, it has special sections dedicated to the game’s superstars like Tendulkar and Kohli. Stating that the venture was never intended to be a money-making enterprise, Mr. Pate said that his passion for the game was behind the idea of his museum dedicated to cricket.
After India won the World Cup in 2011, Mr. Pate decided to tour countries to collect autographed articles. When he started out in 2012, he had just 600 items, which has swelled to over 50,000.
Given the steady flow of recognition the museum has been receiving from global platforms, Mr. Pate said his next venture would be to establish a cricket museum in all Indian metro cities, with the first such one planned in Mumbai. “I am also thinking of setting up a similar museum in all cricketing nations in the future,” he said.