The family felt that the left-arm spinner foxed the batters throughout his career and he kept the character till the end.
“Isn’t it completely in Dad’s character to bowl us over with the ultimate spin ball, one that even we never saw coming,” the family said in a statement in the honour of Bedi, one of the greatest left-arm spinners of all time.
“Every day of his life was spent in devotion to his family and faith, and in service to his Waheguru. He epitomised living a life that was Nirbhau-Nirvair and we are comforted in knowing that he is with His Beloved now.
“Dad, we were blessed to have you as our fearless leader. We will strive to live by your motto – to observe and absorb. Keep guiding us from the great beyond.”
The family described Bedi as a “fearless leader” and one who has inspired many generations through his life. Former India captain Bedi, who played 67 Tests between 1967 to 1979 and took 266 wickets, died at his home here on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 77 and is survived by his wife Anju, son Angad and daughter Neha. “While we are in shock and overcome with grief, we find solace in knowing that he lived a rich, fearless and full life that inspired many. We are moved by each and every message of love we have received, publicly and personally,” the statement read.
“Thank you to everyone for celebrating his grit, humour and giant heart. It is heartwarming to see how many generations Dad inspired through his life,” said the statement sent by Anju, Angad, Neha and others, including Bedi’s daughter-in-law Neha Dhupia.
Born in Amritsar in 1946, Bedi was the 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 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.
Throughout his life, he remaind anti-establishment and his views often ruffled feathers of those in power.
He was the longest serving Delhi Ranji team captain from 1974 to 1982 and under him the team became a force to reckon with national cricket circuit.
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