|Names Earned||Poetry in Motion HW News Network, Sardar of Spin HW News Network, Rebel with a Cause HW News Network, Eternal Traditionalist Scoreline.org|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|International Debut||Test- On 31 Dec 1966 against West Indies at Eden Gardens in Calcutta (now Kolkata)
ODI- On 13 July 1974 against England at Yorkshire Cricket Ground in Leeds, England
T20I- Did not play
Note- There was no T20 at that time.
|Domestic/State Team||• Northern Punjab (1961–1967)
• Delhi (1968–1981)
• Northamptonshire (County cricket) (1972–1977)
|Coach/Mentor||• Gurpal Singh
• Gyan Prakash
|Batting Style||Right hand bat|
|Bowling Style||Slow left arm orthodox|
|Records (main ones)||• Most wickets amongst Indian bowlers in first-class cricket News Byte
• First Indian cricketer to take 200 Test wickets.
• Second highest wicket-taker in India-New Zealand tests with 57 wickets after Richard Hadlee CricketTimes.com
• Only man who was a part of India s first overseas Test victories against New Zealand, West Indies, England, and Australia. Cricketcountry.com
• Best bowling average in terms of Indian bowling pair in tests alongwith Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (27.96) Cricketcountry.com
• Second best economy rates among Indian bowlers who have taken 100 or more wickets in test (2.14) after Vinoo Mankad. Cricketcountry.com
• Most economic spell in 60-over ODI game with 12 overs and 6 runs against East Africa on 11 June 1975 Cricketcountry.com
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Indian Cricketer of the Year in 1967
• Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 1969
• Padma Shri Award by the Government of India in 1970
• CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004
• He was inducted into the Wisden India Hall of Fame in 2015
|Date of Birth||25 September 1946 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||75 Years|
|Birthplace||Amritsar, Punjab, British India|
|School||Saint Francis School, Amritsar|
|College/University||Hindu College, Amritsar|
|Educational Qualifications||Graduate Global Sikh Trail|
|Hobbies||Reading books, Cooking|
|Controversies||• Vaseline Incident- In 1977/78 during an England tour of India, Bedi accused England's John Liver of using vaseline to polish the ball during the third test at Madras. However, this allegation proved wrong when it was found that John Liver wore vaseline terrazzo to keep the sweat away from his eyes. Indianmirror.com
• Match Forfeiting incident- In 1978, during an international game against Pakistan at Sahiwal when India required 23 runs off 14 balls with eight wickets in hand, Bedi recalled the batter from the field and conceded the game in protest to their bowler Sarfraz Nawaz who had bowled four bouncers in an over without being called a wide by the umpire. Indianmirror.com
|Relationships & More|
• Anju Inderjit Bedi
|Children||Son- Angad Bedi
Gavas Inder Bedi
Daughter- Neha Bedi (a lifestyle columnist and vlogger)
|Daughter-in-law||Neha Dhupia (former Miss India 2002, Model, Actress)
|Grandchildren||Grand-daughter- Mehr Dhupia Bedi (born on 18 November 2018)
Grandson- Name not known (born on 3 October 2021)
|Parents||Father- Gyan Singh Bedi (President of District Congress Committee)|
|Cricketer||Batters- Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar|
|Singer||Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bishan Singh Bedi
- Bishan Singh Bedi is a former Indian cricketer widely known as one of the legendary Indian spinners of all time. He was primarily a left-arm orthodox bowler with an easy action who had the ability to bowl flighted deliveries with subtle variations. He was part of the famous Indian spin quartet during the 1960s and 70s alongside Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar.
- Bishan Singh Bedi was born when India was facing a non-violent war against the Britishers. During childhood, he used to play marble in the streets of Amritsar. He started playing cricket at the age of thirteen when he heard the commentary of a cricket match between India and the West Indies on the radio. He started playing to decrease his weight. Then he moved to Delhi in 1968-69 where in the 1974-75 Ranji Season, he took record 64 wickets. ITV India Youtube Channel
- He made his international debut in a test match against West Indies in 1966. Bedi took two vital wickets and restricted their first inning score to 390. West Indies won this match by an inning and 45 runs.
- His first 5-wicket haul came against New Zealand at Christchurch on 22-27 February 1968. New Zealand was at point 208 runs for the loss of one wicket. Bedi then came on to bowl and took their first wicket. Bedi finished his spell with six wickets after conceding 127 runs. In their second inning, he took two wickets and gave 21 runs in 17 overs. However, New Zealand won this match by six wickets.
- His best test bowling was 7 for 98 which came against Australia at Eden Gardens in December 1969. In reply to India’s 212 runs, Australia lost both their openers for the score of 84 runs. Bedi took the key wicket of their captain Billy Lawry. Then, Ian Chappell, had a century’s stand with Doug Walters before Doug Walters was stumped off the bowling of Bishan Singh Bedi. Soon, Ian Chappell also went for 99 runs. Bedi ended his quota of bowling with his best test bowling spell.
- Bedi had a personality clash with Mumbaikar Sunil Gavaskar. They had clashed on a number of topics. However, they firmed respected each other game. This can be estimated from the fact that Bedi named his first son on the name of Gavaskar. Bedi’s playing days nearly ended when Gavaskar was made the full-time captain in 1979. Later, when Gavaskar was sacked from the team, Bedi was the national selector. In 2007, Bedi termed Gavaskar as a ‘destructive influence’ on Indian cricket. The Quint
- One of his most miserly spells came against East Africa during the 1975 World Cup. India desperately needs a win over here having lost their first game against England where Gavaskar scored record 36 runs of 175 balls. East Africa was batting first. It was really difficult to face Bedi’s bowling in that match. Bedi ended his bowling spell with 6 runs in 12 overs and one wicket which includes eight maidens. East Africa could only manage to score 120 runs. India won this game by ten wickets and registered their first ODI victory ever.
- Bedi recalls in a TV series regarding an unofficial test with Sri Lanka in 1975 in Nagpur by saying that
“I was captain of the team. We were made to stay in an MLA hostel. It was during the month of December and the winter was at its peak. But only I had warm water coming in my room, and not other players. So I called the secretary of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) and told him to provide warm water to all players. I told him that people who would be coming in numbers to watch the match will not come to see him but the players. I had an altercation with him and he behaved very rudely. I must have abused him too. It was so bad that after the match ended, they (VCA) did not even book the first-class railway ticket for me and another player. We had to travel sitting in the luggage rack of the general compartment in that cold weather.”
- His highest score was 50 runs, his only international fifty, which came against New Zealand in Kanpur in 1976.
- The same year, he was appointed the national team’s captain after replacing Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. His first win as captain came against the West Indies team at Port-of-Spain in the third test of the 1976 series. This was the same match where India scored then-record 406 runs in the fourth inning. This followed up with a series victory over New Zealand by 2-0 at home. However, after a consequent tournament defeat against England, Australia, and Pakistan, he was replaced by Sunil Gavaskar as captain in 1978.
- After playing for his home state, he moved to Delhi to play for the Delhi side until his retirement in 1981. He also played extensively for Northamptonshire in county cricket.
- Bedi is a very generous man. In response to a news appeal, he donated blood in Karachi on Cavalier’s tour. Impressed with his generosity, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto sent him two carpets and a tea set. Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack
- In 1990, Bedi became the coach and manager of the Indian cricket team. Bedi was given the team which was inexperienced led by Mohammad Azharuddin for the New Zealand tour. He instantly made a headline when he suggested that the entire team should be thrown in the Pacific Ocean. This remark came after India failed to chase the modest target against Australia which was 150 runs. On the tour itself, Bedi firmly opposed Azhar’s decision to bat first against the home team during the Lord’s Test in 1990. This was the same test where Graham Gooch scored 333 runs and took his side to an easy victory and registered a series win 1-0. Azhar and Bedi had a massive fallout after which the Indian team said that the team does not require any coach or a cricket manager. He then became the coach of Punjab, Delhi, and Jammu & Kashmir Ranji sides. He guided Punjab to a Ranji title on 1992-93.
- When Bishan Singh Bedi was the coach of the Indian cricket team, Sachin Tendulkar said during an interview with a newspaper that
“Bishan paaji was ahead of the times in terms of preparing us for the matches. The nets were conducted in a serious manner, and he would, many a time, join by bowling to the batsmen. Fiercely competitive, he would challenge the batsman to step out or hit him to a specific target. It was a great sight when he won those battles. I had the privilege of facing him in the nets and it was evident that he was still working on setting up a batsman, and I had to be at my absolute best while facing him.”
He further adds,
“I always had this feeling that he treated me like his son. He would greet me as ‘Sashoo, my son’, and I could always feel the warmth in his tight hug.”
- He always use to hate Twenty20 cricket and termed it as “suffocating” and “the most vulgar expression of cricket”.
- Famous sportswriter Suresh Menon wrote a column in a newspaper stating that The Hindu
“If the spin quartet were a group of bank robbers, Prasanna would be the one with the plan, Venkat the one who would draw the map pointing out where the dangers lay and how to get past the cameras, Chandra would be in charge of the explosives. Bedi would be the one with the plans to distract the authorities, tricking them into looking in the wrong place.”
- In his book, Mike Brearely, former England’s captain describes Bedi’s bowling as beautiful. He further wrote,
“It indeed was beautiful. In fact, most left-spinners in the world of cricket would love to imitate the fascinating style of delivery that made Bedi such a popular bowler on the circuit. “It was natural,” Bedi is modest. Few know that he would, with none for company, bowl hours and hours every day to hone his skills in Amritsar as a teenager under the tutelage of his guru Gyan Prakash.”
- Since the adamant of Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh in world cricket, Bedi would often criticize them for their chucking action. He was a strong fanatic of 15-degree rule for the bent arm of bowlers and called Muralitharan as a ‘javelin thrower’. Further, he adds,
“Murali might complete 1000 wickets in Tests but they would count as mere run-outs in my eye. He is a Sri Lankan bandit closing in on a dream artist called Shane Warne”
He also targetted former Australian coach John Buchanan and remarked,
‘Tell us John, have you made this Australian team great, or have they made you?”
- In December 2020, he had protested against the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) naming the Feroz Shah Cricket stadium in the name of former union minister Arun Jaitley. He demanded that his name must be removed from the spectator’s stand. If not then he will take legal action against DDCA. The Times of India
- In an interview with a local News Channel, Bedi termed Indian Premier League (IPL) as the ‘Scam’. He further adds,
“I don’t want to say anything about IPL. There’s not a bigger scam in India than IPL. Nobody here knows where IPL’s money comes and goes. The second edition of the IPL happened in South Africa, millions of money were taken out of the country without the permission of the Finance Minister.”
- On 15 February 2021, he was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi after suffering from a heart attack. While he was evaluated, it was found that he has all three vessels of heart critically blocked. He then underwent an operation to remove blood clotting in his brain and also underwent Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery by a team of doctors on 18 February 2021. The New Indian Express
- His most successful series include against Australia in 1969-70 where he took 21 wickets. Against England in 1972-73 where he took 25 wickets. Against West Indies in 1975-76 where he took 18 wickets. Against New Zealand in 1976-77 where he took 22 wickets. Against England in the same year where he took 25 wickets. Against Australia in 1977-78 where he took 31 wickets.
- In tests, he has played 67 matches and taken 266 wickets with an average of 28.71. His best bowling in an inning is 7 for 98 runs which came against Australia on 16 December 1977 at WACA, Perth. Overall he has bowled 3560.4 overs and conceded 7637 runs with an economic rate of 2.14. England is the team against whom he has taken most wickets in his Test career followed by West Indies. His most successful year is 1976 where he took 48 wickets with an average of 20.00.
- Talking about his ODI career, he has played 10 matches and taken 7 wickets with an average of 48.57. Overall he has bowled 98.2 overs and conceded 340 runs with an economy rate of 3.45. His best bowling is 2 for 44 runs which came against Pakistan on 1 October 1978 at Racecourse Ground (now Bugti Stadium) in Quetta, Pakistan.