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India spin-bowling great Bishan Bedi has died at the age of 77; Bedi took 266 wickets in Test cricket and his total of 1,560 first-class wickets is the most for any Indian bowler; He also enjoyed a successful time in county cricket with Northamptonshire

Monday 23 October 2023 14:07, UK

Former India captain Bishan Bedi, widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers ever, has died aged 77.

A slow left-armer with an armoury of variations, Bedi featured in 67 Tests between 1967 and 1979 for India, amassing 266 wickets at an average of 28.71, while he also played in 10 ODIs.

Bedi led his country in 22 Tests, winning six times, between 1975 and 1979 and at the time of his retirement, he was India’s leading wicket-taker before being overtaken by Kapil Dev a few years later.

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A statement on X from the Board of Control for Cricket in India said: “The BCCI mourns the sad demise of former India Test captain and legendary spinner, Bishan Singh Bedi.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fans in these tough times. May his soul rest in peace.”

Bedi was instrumental in a spin quartet also comprising leg-spinner Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and off-break bowlers Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna that helped India’s rise in the 1960s and 1970s.

Bedi also represented Northamptonshire with distinction from 1972 to 1977, being part of the team which won the 1976 Gillette Cup, while his total of 1,560 first-class wickets is the most by any Indian bowler ever.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes, saying on X: “Deeply saddened by the passing of noted cricketer Shri Bishan Singh Bedi Ji.

“His passion for the sport was unwavering and his exemplary bowling performances led India to numerous memorable victories.

“He will continue to inspire future generations of cricketers. Condolences to his family and admirers.”

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin added: “Sad to hear about the demise of the great Bishen Singh Bedi, apart from being a great cricketer, he was an affable person and went the extra mile to help young cricketers.”

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