The cricketing world, with luminaries such as Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag, came together to bid farewell to the legendary Indian spinner, Bishan Bedi. Bedi, who had been battling illness, passed away at the age of 77. His last rites were attended by a host of Indian cricket legends, including the World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Virender Sehwag, Kirti Azad, Ashish Nehra, Ajay Jadeja, and Murali Kartik, who had learned the art of spin bowling under the guidance of Bedi.
This solemn gathering also included several first-class cricketers, emphasizing the profound impact Bedi had on both the professional and personal lives of those who shared the field with him.
Bishan Bedi, hailing from Amritsar and born in 1946, had a distinguished career, representing India in 67 Test matches. During his illustrious career, he managed to claim 266 wickets, which included an impressive 14 five-wicket hauls and one memorable 10-wicket haul. He was an integral part of Indian cricket’s renowned quartet of spin bowlers, alongside Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. Together, they formed the backbone of India’s bowling lineup for over a decade, from 1966 to 1978.
Not only was Bishan Bedi an exceptional cricketer, but he was also a remarkable human being, as acknowledged by a former cricketer who attended the ceremony at the Lodhi Crematorium.
In addition to his on-field achievements, Bedi made substantial contributions off the pitch. He briefly served as the manager of the Indian cricket team in 1990, accompanying them on tours to New Zealand and England. His cricketing acumen made him a valuable national selector, and he was a mentor to numerous budding spin bowlers, including Maninder Singh, Sunil Joshi, and Murali Kartik, all of whom cherished his technical insights.
Bishan Bedi was also celebrated for his leadership qualities. He captained the Indian cricket team for nearly four years in Test matches, taking the reins after the retirement of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi in 1975 and leading the team until 1979. His legacy as a cricketer, leader, mentor, and human being remains etched in the annals of Indian cricket history, and his presence will be dearly missed by the cricketing fraternity.