Cricket Legend Bishan Singh Bedi passes away at 77

Legendary Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi has passed away at the age of 77 following a prolonged illness.

Cricket Legend Bishan Singh Bedi passes away at 77 f

he became the 113th cricketer to represent India in Tests.

Indian cricket legend Bishan Singh Bedi has died at the age of 77.

In recent years, he had undergone a few surgeries and was battling age-relating illnesses.

Regarded as one of the world’s best spin bowlers, Bedi captained India in 22 of his 67 Tests and took 266 wickets.

He made his debut against West Indies in 1966 and played his final Test match against England at The Oval in 1979.

Bedi also played English county cricket for Northamptonshire and finished his career with 1,560 wickets.

Bishan Singh Bedi was an integral part of an iconic quartet of India’s world-beating spin bowlers in the 1960s and 70s, which included Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan.

Born in Amritsar, Punjab, Bedi began playing cricket at school.

When he turned 20, he became the 113th cricketer to represent India in Tests.

Over a 12-year career, Bedi’s best bowling performance came in 1969 when he picked up seven wickets for 98 runs against Australia in Kolkata, a Test match that India lost.

In his trademark pink or bright blue turban, Bedi was a spin bowling purist’s dream.

With a languid run-up and a fluid action, bowling came naturally to him.

Ramachandra Guha, a historian and author of A Corner of a Foreign Field, a book on Indian cricket, wrote:

“Bedi flighted the ball higher than any bowler in international cricket; if he could challenge quick-footed batsmen thus, it was only because his command was so complete that he would make the ball descend far quicker than it went up.”

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, once said Bedi had so much variation that he could “bowl six different deliveries in an over”.

West Indies legend Sir Garry Sobers said Bedi “took the weight off the ball nicely”.

Australian great Sir Donald Bradman felt that “Bedi was a real study for the connoisseur and amongst the finest bowlers of his type”.

Bishan Singh Bedi was also an outspoken cricketer, often getting embroiled in controversies.

In 1976, he declared India’s second innings at 97-5 against Clive Lloyd’s West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in protest against intimidatory bowling by the hosts.

Three India batters were out of the game after being hit by West Indian quick bowlers and Bedi said it was not a declaration because there were no fit players to come out and bat.

West Indies won the game by 10 wickets.

In 1977, he accused England fast bowler John Lever of using Vaseline to swing the ball during a tour of India.

The next year, he forfeited a match against Pakistan, alleging partisan umpiring.

In 1990, as the national coach, he threatened to dump the Indian team in the sea after they lost a match against Australia.

In 2002, he launched an attack on Sri Lanka’s spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, accusing him of throwing.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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