Reliving the glory of the ‘Sardar of Spin’ on his birthday

Born on September 25, 1946, in Amritsar, Bishan Singh Bedi is a former Indian cricket player who has played for the Indian team with his slow-spin bowling. Throughout his career, Bedi was known to be a silent but deadly bowler, a master of deception who conjured variations in flight, loop, spin and pace without any perceptible change in action.

Regarded as a true sportsman in all aspects of the game, Bedi was well renowned in both, the international and domestic cricket circuit.

On his 72nd birthday, here is a timeline that outlines the landmarks in his playing career

    1. At the age of fifteen, Bedi first played Northern Punjab in Indian domestic cricket.
    2. In the 1974–75 season of the Ranji Trophy, he took a record 64 wickets.
    3. Bedi represented ‘Northamptonshire’ in English county cricket and finished with 1560 wickets in first-class cricket—more than any other Indian has ever achieved.

      Sunil Gavaskar and Bedi with Bob Simpson
    4. His bowling has been described as graceful, full of guile and artistry. He was also known to be an expert in flighting the ball.
    5. His successful Test series include-
      India vs Australia 1969–70: 21 wickets at 20.57
      India vs England 1972–73: 25 wickets at 25.28
      India in the West Indies: 18 wickets at 25.33
      India vs New Zealand 1976–77: 22 wickets at 13.18
      India vs England 1976–77: 25 wickets at 22.96
      India in Australia 1977–78: 31 wickets at 23.87

      Bishan Singh Bedi (left), Abid Ali, Mayor of Melbourne RT Talbot, Erapalli Prasanna and skipper Tiger Pataudi during India’s tour of Australia in 1967-68
    6.  His best Test bowling was 7/98 against Australia at Calcutta in 1969–70, and his best match figures are 10/194 at Perth in 1978–79, also against Australia.
    7. His first-class bowling was 7/5 for Delhi vs. Jammu and Kashmir at New Delhi, 1974–75.
    8. In 1976, Bedi succeeded Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, when the former was appointed as the captain of the Indian team.
    9. His first Test victory as captain was against the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in the 3rd Test of the 1976 series in which India scored a then-record 406 in the fourth innings.
    10. Bedi played 67 Tests and picked up 266 wickets, making him the highest Indian wicket-taker at the time.

      courtesy: ESPN
    11. His outspoken behaviour, however, inevitably courted controversies including: objecting to the use of Vaseline by England bowler John Lever in 1976-77, declaring India’s second innings at Kingston in protest against intimidating bowling by the West Indians in 1976 and threatening to dump the Indian cricket team in the sea in 1990, when he was the coach.
    12. In 2008, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack named Bedi as one of the five best cricketers to have not been selected as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

A generous man possessing infinite wisdom, Bedi’s zest and passion for the game still remains undiminished.

Here’s wishing Mr Bedi a very happy birthday!

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