Bishan Singh Bedi Death: Former Indian captain and cricketing stalwart, Bishan Singh Bedi, breathed his last at the age of 77 on Monday. Bedi had been battling poor health for the past two years, undergoing several medical procedures, including knee surgery about a month ago. He is survived by his wife, Anju, and two children, Neha and Angad.
In a statement, the BCCI expressed its condolences, saying, “BCCI mourns the passing away of former India Test captain and great spinner Bishan Singh Bedi. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fans in this difficult time.” Bedi had an influential career spanning 12 years from 1967 to 1979, during which he played 67 Test matches. He was one of India’s most celebrated cricketers.
In 1970, he was awarded the Padma Shri. Bedi also captained the Indian team in 22 Test matches and played India’s first One Day International against East Africa in 1975, where he delivered 12 overs, conceded eight runs, and took one wicket. Bedi was known for his exceptional spin bowling skills and revolutionized spin bowling worldwide, alongside Erapalli Prasanna, B.S. Chandrasekhar, and S. Venkataraghavan.
Central Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said, “Former captain of the Indian cricket team and a spinner who will always be fondly remembered, Bishan Singh Bedi Ji is no longer with us. This is sad news and a significant loss to the world of cricket.”
Bedi organized many coaching camps in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, and was closely associated with the development of the sport in the region. Despite his strong ties to Punjab and Delhi, he had a special place in his heart for Himachal Pradesh. His entire family is in our thoughts.
During the 1969–70 Test series against Australia, Bedi finished with 21 wickets. However, he gradually faded from the scene. After taking 25 wickets against England, 18 wickets against the West Indies, 22 wickets against England again, and 25 and 31 wickets against England and Australia, Bedi stood as one of the greatest spinners of all time.
Bedi was a renowned player for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy and led the team to consecutive victories in 1978–79 and 1980–81. He also excelled in county cricket, representing Northamptonshire, where he played 102 first-class matches and took 434 wickets from 1972 to 1977.
In 1976, Bedi was appointed as the captain of the Indian team, following in the footsteps of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. He started his captaincy with a historic win against the West Indies in the third Test of the 1976 series in Port-of-Spain, where India scored 406 runs in the fourth inning, securing their place in the record books. This remarkable victory set India on the path to continued success, resulting in a 2-0 series win against New Zealand at home. Despite these promising beginnings, a series of challenging Test losses against England, Australia, and Pakistan led to Bedi’s removal from the captaincy, with Sunil Gavaskar taking over.