Sports

Bishan Singh Bedi Death: Tributes Pour In For Indian Spin Wizard

Many cricketing legends and politicians showered their tributes and paid condolences after the death of Indian great spinner, Bishan Singh Bedi.

Bishan Singh Bedi
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Former and current cricketers paid rich tributes to legendary spinner Bishan Singh Bedi, who died on Monday, describing him as one of the best bowlers the country has produced and one who went out of the way to help youngsters. (More Cricket News)

Bedi, who played 67 Tests between 1967 to 1979 and took 266 wickets, died at his home here after a prolonged illness. He was 77 and is survived by his wife Anju, son Angad and daughter Neha.

Bedi's teammate Sunil Gavaskar said: "Sad news indeed. He was the finest left-hand bowler that I saw."

Sachin Tendulkar remembered how on his first senior tour of England in 1990, Bedi's guidance was of immense help.

"Sashu," he'd say with a warmth that only he possessed. To Bishan Paaji, I wasn't just another cricketer; I was like a son. Under his nurturing guidance, I scored my first 100 in England," Tendulkar said.

"On chilly NZ evenings, we'd sit over meals, and I'd hang on to every story he told, every piece of wisdom he shared. Today, there's an echoing silence where his voice used to be. The world seems a little emptier without you, Paaji. Rest in the eternal peace you so deserve," he added.

Senior India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remembered Bedi as someone who went out of the way to help young cricketers, while former opener Gautam Gambhir felt the former left-arm spinner's immense contribution would be remembered forever.

"Sad to hear about the demise of the great Bishan Singh Bedi, apart from being a great cricketer, he was an affable person and went the extra mile to help young cricketers," wrote Ashwin on social media.

"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!" Gambhir wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Bedi was a part of Indian cricket's golden quartet of spinners, the others being Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, who formed the core of India's bowling unit for more than a decade between 1966 and 1978.

Ex-India captain Azharuddin offered condolences on the passing away of Bedi.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan termed Bedi one of the best the country has produced.

"Bishan Singh Bedi. One of our best is no more. It's a loss to our cricketing fraternity. My deep condolences to his family" wrote Pathan.

India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik wrote, "Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Bishan Singh Bedi Sir, a legend and a true ambassador of the sport. His contribution to Indian cricket will be remembered forever. My heartfelt condolences to his family."

Former India women's team captain Mithali Raj also paid tributes to the late 'Sardar of Spin'.

"Saddened by the news of Shri Bishan Singh Bedi ji passing away. He'll always be among the best bowlers to have represented India. My condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti."

India limited-overs player Shikhar Dhawan described Bedi as "a true cricketing legend who will be dearly missed".

Not just the cricket fraternity, but people from politics also showered tributes and condoled the death of the legendary spinner.

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, his Haryana and Delhi counterparts, Manohar Lal Khattar and Arvind Kejriwal, condoled the death of former India captain and one of the greatest left-arm spinners, Bishan Singh Bedi, who died on Monday after a prolonged illness.

The 77-year-old former cricketer is survived by his wife Anju, son Angad and daughter Neha.

Describing him as the "Sardar of spin", Mann said Bedi will always be remembered for his immense contribution to Indian cricket.

In a post in Punjabi on X, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said: "Received the sad news of the death of Sardar Bishan Singh Bediji, the former captain of the Indian cricket team and who was known as the 'Sardar of spin'.

"As a cricket lover, I have always been a fan of Bishan Singhji's game... In the history of Indian cricket, Bishan Singhji's name, written in golden letters, will always remain in our memories. Heartfelt condolences to the family and the loved ones."

In his condolence message later, Mann described the death of the legendary spinner as a colossal loss for cricket lovers.

He said Bedi, along with three other spinners, formed the most lethal spin quartet in the history of Indian cricket.

His death marks the end of the golden era of Indian spinners in the world of cricket, Mann said.

In a post in Hindi on X, Khattar said: "The news of the death of former Indian cricket team captain Bishan Singh Bedi is very sad. This is a big loss for the cricket world.

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"Bediji will live in our memories not only because of his contribution to the world of cricket but also because of his magical bowling skills. My deepest condolences to his family members and fans in this hour of grief."

Kejriwal said Bedi's legacy will continue to inspire the future generations.

"Saddened to hear about the demise of the iconic spinner and former India captain, Bishan Singh Bediji. His legacy in cricket will continue to inspire generations. My deepest condolences to his family and the cricketing fraternity," Kejriwal said in a post on X.

Born in Amritsar in 1946, Bedi played 67 Tests for India and took 266 wickets with 14 five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul.

He was a part of Indian cricket's golden quartet of spinners that also had Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. They formed the core of India's bowling unit for more than a decade between 1966 and 1978.

Former Punjab chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amarinder Singh said, "Saddened to learn about the demise of Indian cricketing legend Bishan Singh Bedi today."

"The former Indian team captain gave India many memorable moments with his left-arm bowling. My heartfelt condolences are with his family and fans in this time of grief," he posted on X.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed his heartfelt grief at Bedi's death.

"The left-arm spinner mesmerised the world with his bowling skills and went on to enrich the game as a coach and mentor to budding cricketers. My thoughts are with his family. May Gurusahab grant them strength to bear this loss," he said on X.

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