Renowned Indian cricket legend Bishan Singh Bedi has passed away at the age of 77, following an extended period of illness.
Bedi had been contending with age-related ailments and had undergone multiple surgeries in recent years.
Heralded as one of the world’s preeminent spin bowlers, Bedi led the Indian cricket team in 22 of his 67 Test appearances, amassing an impressive tally of 266 wickets.
His Test debut occurred against the West Indies in 1966, and he concluded his Test career with a match against England at The Oval in 1979.
In addition to his international exploits, Bedi graced English county cricket, notably representing Northamptonshire, and concluded his illustrious career with an exceptional 1,560 first-class wickets—a record among Indian bowlers.
Bedi was a pivotal member of the celebrated quartet of Indian spin bowlers in the 1960s and 70s, alongside Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. In 2021, readers selected Bedi for a place in BBC Sport’s all-time India Test XI.
Born in Amritsar, in India’s Punjab state, Bedi’s cricket journey commenced during his school days. At the age of 20, he donned the Indian Test cap as the 113th cricketer to represent the nation.
During his 12-year cricketing career, one of Bedi’s standout performances transpired in 1969 when he claimed seven wickets for 98 runs against Australia in Kolkata, although India faced defeat in that Test match.
Bedi, distinguished by his distinctive pink or bright blue turban, embodied the quintessential spin bowler. His graceful run-up and seamless bowling action defined his artistry.
Cricket writer H Natarajan aptly described the left-arm spinner as “stealthy, silent, and deadly,” a master of deception who could conjure variations in flight, loop, spin, and pace without any perceptible change in his action.
Notably, in 1977, Bedi accused English left-arm fast bowler John Lever of using Vaseline to alter the ball’s movement during a tour of India. The subsequent year, he forfeited a match against Pakistan, citing alleged biased umpiring.