Death of a cricketer: Bedi was an artist, cricket’s conscience-keeper - The Tribune India

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Death of a cricketer

Bedi was an artist, cricket’s conscience-keeper

Death of a cricketer

BISHAN Singh Bedi, the former Indian cricket team captain who died at the age of 77 on Monday, was a man not of our fast times and slippery individuals. - File photo



BISHAN Singh Bedi, the former Indian cricket team captain who died at the age of 77 on Monday, was a man not of our fast times and slippery individuals. His bowling was an ode to the times when the pace of life was slower, and when trust could be won in an instant — Bedi warmed up to individuals in an instant and formed lifelong bonds that ended only with his death. When he bowled, the best cricketers in the world paused to watch, always in wonder; such was his art. His run-up, simplicity itself, was a thing of beauty — unhurried, languid, fluid, described by the best players as ‘poetry in motion’. When the game and the fans were in thrall of the big, burly fast bowlers, who wished to knock batters’ heads off, Bedi emerged as a gentle master of guile.

In his personal life, he was anything but wily. He loved his teammates with all his heart — more than a parent, say his junior teammates — and the all-round love that has been showered on him from across the world is a testament to that. He believed in the commonwealth of cricket, the great game he graced, and shared his art with anyone and everyone who was willing to listen to him — be it a player from Pakistan or Australia or England, everyone was all ears when Bedi spoke.

Perhaps most importantly, he was the eternal gadfly of the sport, its conscience-keeper — he spoke truth to authority, without fear or favour. When there was a question of sporting morality, the right or wrong in the sport or in the actions of its administrators, one could depend on Bedi to speak bluntly and plainly. One could be sure he would care nothing for official censure if his words were to sting officialdom — a very rare trait indeed. Such men could be bitter, but Bedi was far from bitter — to the very end, he was a cricket romantic. Goodbye, Mr Bedi, there will never be another you.

#Cricket


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