Former India captain Bishan Bedi, a cricket icon, died on Monday at his residence in the Capital. He was 77 and is survived by his wife, Bollywood actor son Angad and daughter.
Bedi played 67 Tests for India, taking 266 wickets, a record then and represented multiple teams like Delhi, Northamptonshire, Northern Punjab and North Zone in 370 first-class games that yielded the left-arm spinner 1560 wickets.
Bedi was part of India’s famous spin quartet under MAK Pataudi’s captaincy with Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and S Venkataraghavan being the other three.
He was known to stick to cricket conventions, his left-arm spin influenced many future India players like Maninder Singh and Murali Kartik among others.
The Amritsar-born also captained India in 22 Tests and four of the 10 ODIs he played. When he retired, ODI cricket was in its infancy stage at international level with Test cricket being the primary format.
It was under Bedi’s captaincy that Delhi first clinched the Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic competition, in the 1978-79 season and followed it up with another title the next season.
Bedi guided many players during his time as captain and coach of Delhi and India. He served as Delhi coach from 2001-02 till 2003-04. He had also served as coach of Punjab in the 1990s and also later as coach of Jammu & Kashmir.
Before he took over the Ranji sides, he already had a taste of coaching the national side on India’s tour of New Zealand and England in 1989-1990.
He had differences with senior India cricketers for his forthright comments. Bedi dabbled in administration in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
He fought tooth and nail against different generations of Delhi cricket administrators in the early 1980s and continued to do so till a few years back.
He, however, could not win the Presidential election in 2013 when he challenged the late Union minister Arun Jaitley.