In their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup match against England at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium, the Indian team will be seen wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for legendary left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi.
“#TeamIndia will be wearing Black Armbands in memory of the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi before the start of play against England in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023,” said the BCCI on X (formerly Twitter).
Previously, players from both Australia and Netherlands observed a minute’s silence in his memory ahead of their World Cup match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium last Wednesday, a venue which has a stand named after Bedi.
Bedi, a member of the famous spin quartet alongside BS Chandrashekar, Erapalli Prasanna and S Venkataraghavan, passed away last Monday at the age of 77. Bedi played 67 Tests for India between 1967 and 1979, taking 266 wickets at an average of 28.71, apart from making 656 runs with the bat.
He also took seven wickets in 10 ODI matches, apart from captaining India in 22 Tests – with its most memorable wins coming in Melbourne and Sydney Tests in 1977-78 tour of Australia. Born in Amritsar, Punjab, Bedi began his first-class career with Northern Punjab, before moving to Delhi in 1968-69 season.
Bedi also led Delhi to winning the prestigious Ranji Trophy titles in 1978-79 and 1979-80, apart from two runners-up finishes. He also had a successful stint for Northamptonshire in county cricket in England. In 102 outings for the club between 1972 and 1977, Bedi bagged 434 wickets, the most by an Indian in English County cricket circuit, while averaging 20.89.
His left-arm spin bowling was known for the mastery he had of flight, loop and spin, along with using subtle variations to outwit batters at the crease, with tiny adjustments made in his superior arm speed release points.
Post his playing career, Bedi turned to coaching young cricketers, with Maninder Singh and Murali Kartik being his students to have played for India. He also coached Punjab, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir teams in domestic cricket, with Punjab winning Ranji Trophy in 1992-93.
He was the manager of the Indian team briefly in 1990. He was also an outspoken, unfazed and fearless voice on all matters related to the sport, calling a spade a spade. He was conferred with Arjuna Award in 1969, the Padma Shri honour in 1970 and the C. K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.