Renowned Indian cricketing luminary and illustrious spin maestro, Bishan Singh Bedi, has passed away at the age of 77, as announced by the Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur on Monday. This news has been met with a profound sense of mourning within the sporting community.
Former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Anurag Thakur, stated, “Bishan Singh Bedi, the former captain of the Indian Cricket team and a bowler forever etched in the memory of the nation, has left us. This is a deeply saddening development and an immense loss to the realm of cricket. The global cricketing fraternity stands in solidarity with his family during this sorrowful period.”
Bishan Singh Bedi, a distinguished left-arm spinner, was an integral part of the celebrated spin quartet, which included Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwath Chandrasekhar. Over the course of his illustrious international career spanning from 1967 to 1979, he contributed significantly, claiming an impressive tally of 266 wickets across 67 Test matches.
In addition to his Test cricket achievements, Bedi also donned the Indian colors in 10 one-day internationals between 1974 and 1979. His cricketing legacy was marked not only by his on-field prowess but also by his candid and at times forthright critique of fellow cricketers and the administrative facets of the sport.
Bishan Singh Bedi, recognized for his distinctive appearance with a turban and a warm smile, remained a prominent figure at cricketing events in the capital, New Delhi. However, his declining health in recent years limited his active participation in social activities.
The late Bishan Singh Bedi is survived by two sons and two daughters, born from his two marriages. His younger son, Angad, is married to Neha Dhupia, a renowned actress and former Miss India, crowned in 2002.
Reacting to the news, former Pakistan cricket captain Intikhab Alam expressed his sorrow at Bedi’s demise, stating, “I had a very cordial and friendly relationship with him. He was not only a remarkable spinner but also an exceptional human being. This loss deeply impacts the cricketing world in general and holds special significance for Indo-Pak cricket in particular.”