Bishan Singh Bedi, one of the greatest Indian spinners of all time, passed away on Monday at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness. Bedi was a crucial part of the famous Indian spin quartet that dominated world cricket in the 1960s and 70s.

An Illustrious Career

Bedi made his test debut for India in 1969 against Australia. Over his 12-year international career, he played 67 tests and picked up 266 wickets at an average of 28.71. Bedi was known for his nagging accuracy and ability to out-think batsmen with flight and guile.

He was part of India’s first ODI in 1975 against East Africa, giving away just 6 runs in 8 overs while picking up a wicket. Bedi captained India in 22 test matches from 1976 to 1978. One of his standout performances as captain came in 1976, when India famously chased over 400 runs in the fourth innings to beat a formidable West Indies side.

Tributes Pour In

Bedi’s passing was mourned by the cricketing community worldwide. The BCCI called it a “very tragic news and a big loss to the world of cricket.” Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan said it was a “loss to our cricketing fraternity.” Sports Minister Anurag Thakur described Bedi as a “bowler who will be always remembered fondly.”

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Post-Playing Career

After retirement, Bedi served Indian cricket in various capacities – as a national selector, spin bowling coach, and mentor to young spinners. He was known for his sharp cricketing insights and forthright views on the game.

Bedi also enjoyed success in English county cricket, representing Northamptonshire for many years. He picked up over 400 first-class wickets for the county side.

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Part of a Legendary Quartet

Along with Erapalli Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and S Venkataraghavan, Bedi formed a legendary spin quartet that bamboozled opposing batsmen all over the world in the 60s and 70s. Their mastery over flight, turn and subtle variations made them one of the most feared bowling units of all time.

Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra and Venkat, as they were popularly known, played a pivotal role in establishing India’s dominance at home and making it a formidable force overseas. Their success paved the way for the rise of spin bowling in India.

Final Days

In his final years, Bedi suffered from multiple health issues. He underwent knee surgery last month at the age of 77 after years of knee trouble.

Bedi is survived by his wife Anju and two children, Neha and Angad. The cricket world will fondly remember him as an all-time great who contributed immensely to the sport as a player, captain, coach and commentator.

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