Former India Captain Bishan Bedi, Cricket Icon, Passes Away at 77: End of an Era

New Delhi, Oct 23 (PTI) - Indian cricket is mourning the loss of a true legend as former India captain Bishan Bedi, one of the greatest left-arm spinners of all time, passed away at the age of 77 on Monday. Bedi's demise marks the end of an era in Indian cricket.

Bedi, who had been battling a prolonged illness, is survived by his wife Anju, son Angad, and daughter Neha. He breathed his last at his home this morning, having recently undergone a knee operation. Unfortunately, the infection spread, and he could not recover from it.

Born in Amritsar in 1946, Bedi left an indelible mark on Indian cricket. He played 67 Tests for India, amassing 266 wickets, with an impressive record of 14 five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul. He was a vital part of India's golden quartet of spinners, which included Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. These four formed the core of India's bowling unit for over a decade, from 1966 to 1978.

In addition to his illustrious playing career, Bedi also served as the manager of the Indian cricket team during tours of New Zealand and England in 1990. He was a national selector and mentor to talented spinners like Maninder Singh and Murali Kartik, who greatly valued his technical insight.

Bedi's captaincy was highly admired as he led the Indian team for nearly four years in Test cricket between 1975 and 1979, following the retirement of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Throughout his life, Bedi remained an anti-establishment figure, often expressing views that challenged the status quo in Indian cricket. He also held the distinction of being the longest-serving Delhi Ranji team captain from 1974 to 1982, during which time the team achieved significant success in the national cricket circuit.

As news of his passing spread, condolences poured in on social media from cricketers and officials alike. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir wrote, "Extremely saddened by the passing of Bishan Singh Bedi ji. His immense contribution to cricket will forever be remembered. May God give strength to his family and loved ones!" R Ashwin, one of the modern-day greats with 489 Test wickets, described Bedi as an affable person who went the extra mile to help young cricketers.

Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin also expressed his condolences, saying, "I'm sorry to hear about Bishan Singh Bedi sir’s passing away. Sending my heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace."

BCCI secretary Jay Shah and former BCCI acting president CK Khanna also paid tribute to the cricketing icon, emphasizing the loss felt by Indian cricket.

Bishan Singh Bedi's legacy will forever be etched in the annals of Indian cricket history, and his contributions will be remembered with reverence and gratitude.

News Source -PTI


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