File photo of Bishan Bedi.© PTI
Cricketing fraternity, including Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag, attended the last rites of legendary Indian spinner Bishan Bedi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Bedi died on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 77. The big names of Indian cricket including World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Sehwag and Kirti Azad were there to pay their last respects. Also present were Ashish Nehra, Ajay Jadeja, who is currently part of the Afghanistan support staff, and Murali Kartik, who learnt the tricks of the trade from the “Sardar of Spin”.
“A whole lot of first-class cricketers were also present. He was a great cricketer as well as a great human being,” said a former cricketer who was present at the Lodhi Crematorium.
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 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.
Bedi was briefly the manager of the Indian cricket team in 1990 during tours of New Zealand and England.
He was also a national selector and mentor to many talented spinners like Maninder Singh, Sunil Joshi and Murali Kartik, who all swore by his technical insight.
Bedi was also one of the most admired Indian captains and he led the team for nearly four years in Test cricket between 1975 and 1979 after Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s retirement.
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