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Gavaskar, Tendulkar lead tributes to Bedi, former players recall him as someone who went extra mile to help

Formerand current cricketers paid richtributestolegendary spinner Bishan SinghBedi,whodied on Monday, describing him as one of the best bowlers the country has produced and onewhowentout of the waytohelpyoungsters.

Bedi,whoplayed 67 Tests between 1967to1979 and took 266 wickets, died at his home here after a prolonged illness. He was 77 and is survived by his wife Anju, son Angad and daughter Neha.

Bedi’s teammate SunilGavaskarsaid: “Sad news indeed. He was the finest left hand bowler that I saw.”

SachinTendulkarremembered how on his first senior tour of England in 1990,Bedi’s guidance was of immensehelp.

“Sashu, he’d say with warmth that only he possessed.ToBishan Paaji, I wasn’t just another cricketer; I was like a son. Under his nurturing guidance, I scored my first 100 in England,”Tendulkarsaid.

“On chilly NZ evenings, we’d sit over meals, and I’d hang ontoevery story he told, every piece of wisdom he shared. Today, there’s an echoing silence where his voice usedtobe. The world seems a little emptier without you, Paaji. Rest in the eternal peace you so deserve,” he added.

Senior India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin rememberedBediassomeonewhowentout of the waytohelpyoung cricketers, whileformeropener Gautam Gambhir felt theformerleft-arm spinner’s immense contribution would be remembered forever.

“Sadtohear about the demise of the great Bishan SinghBedi, apart from being a great cricketer, he was an affable person andwenttheextramiletohelpyoung cricketers,” wrote Ashwin on social media.

“Extremely saddened by the passing of Bishan SinghBediji. His immense contributiontocricket will forever be remembered. May god give strengthtohis family and loved ones!” Gambhir wrote on X,formerlyTwitter.

Bediwas a part of Indian cricket’s golden quartet of spinners, the others being Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan,whoformed the core of India’s bowling unit for more than a decade between 1966 and 1978.

Ex-India captain Azharuddin offered condolences on the passing away ofBedi.

FormerIndia all-rounder Irfan Pathan termedBedione of the best the country has produced.

“Bishan SinghBedi. One of our best is no more. It’s a losstoour cricketing fraternity. My deep condolencestohis family,” wrote Pathan.

India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesk Karthik wrote, “Deeply saddenedtohear about the loss of Bishan SinghBediSir, a legend and a true ambassador of the sport. His contributiontoIndian cricket will be remembered forever. My heartfelt condolencestohis family.”

FormerIndia women’s team captain Mithali Raj also paidtributestothe late ‘Sardar of Spin’.

“Saddened by the news of Shri Bishan SinghBediji passing away. He’ll always be among the best bowlerstohave represented India. My condolencestohis family and friends. Om Shanti.”

India limited oversplayerShikhar Dhawan describedBedias “a true cricketing legendwhowill be dearly missed”.

(Published 23 October 2023, 16:37 IST)

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