He was named after Rohan Kanhai, one of the most prolific batsmen in world cricket in the 1960s, by his grandfather. But his connection to cricket did not stop there as he went on to play for Maharashtra and his passion further drove him to open a museum dedicated solely to cricket. Meet Rohan Pate. Blades of Glory, his brainchild, is now one of the top museums in the world that displays a wide range of cricket gear that belongs to some of the best players in the game. And it’s right here in Pune.
“The idea for this first came to me in 2010 when my company had signed Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. We had asked him for one of his used bats and just to have his bat inspired me a lot to go ahead and achieve more. I felt like if I had Sachin’s bat then I could have anything. But in reality, there was a lot of struggle. I had to wait for 18 hours to get one autograph and that’s how my journey began,” Pate explains.
As of now, over 350 players have visited the Blades of Glory museum. It displays around 7,500 items that include bats, jerseys, helmets and other cricketing gear. Spread over 4000 square feet, this museum displays some to the rarest cricket memorabilia. There is a separate section dedicated solely to Sachin Tendulkar. This section displays a 100 miniature bats with details of the 100 centuries made by Tendulkar. Other items of his include jerseys, helmets and cricketing equipment that he had earlier used in test matches.
The museum also displays signed memorabilia by the five triple centurions that include Virender Sehwag, Michael Clarke, Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya and Chris Gayle.
For bowling enthusiasts, there are autographed balls by each of the 22 members of the 300-Test wickets’ club and for the 50 over format, each of the 11 members of the 300-wicket club in ODIs has signed a ball exclusively for the gallery.There is also a World Cup 2015 collection including signed bats, balls and jerseys of players from the world over.
It would be every cricket fan’s dream to find the autographed cricketing gear of Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Vivian Richards, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting. The gallery puts all of this in one space called The Legend’s Room.
Pate makes sure that all the bats are preserved and kept in a good condition by lacquering them on a regular basis.
Unlike before, Pate no more has to run around collecting equipment. He is acquainted with many cricketers and he is sent the gear as and when it is required. “It’s altogether a different thing when I would wait for long hours for one autograph to now having all those cricketers come and see the museum. Their perception has changed towards me a lot after they’ve seen what I’ve done. They have increased their support for me by sending in more stuff which shows that they have confidence in me. Wasim Akram and Kapil Dev have been very forthcoming. They have also visited the museum many times,” mentions Pate.
The Blades of Glory museum is certainly one of its kind in Pune but Pate has bigger plans for his collection. He says, “I would like to go global with this. I want to exhibit the items in different cities around the country and all over the world as the collection is growing.”
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