For all those who have started to follow the game of cricket in the 21st century know that the word turbanator is associated with Harbhajan Singh. But very less know that India’s first turbanator was Bishen Singh Bedi. A man who is outspoken and is trying hard to remove politics from Indian cricket. Very less ex-cricketers are as critical as him.
When he reitired from International cricket, he was the leading wicket taker in Test cricket for India, though his participation in the ODIs was very less because ODIs were not very popular at that time. He was the part of the famous spin quartret of India , which was the face of Indian cricket at that time. The other members of the quartret being Venkataraghavan, Chandrashekhar and Prasanna.
But he was also part of many controversies. The top 5 of them being
1: In 1976, when he was the captain of the side , he declared India’s innings because of the dangerous bowling of the West Indies pacers. India was 306 for 6 when Bedi decided to declare the innings because 2 Indian batsman have retired hurt. In the 2nd innings , 6 Indian batsman were retired hurt and India lost the game by 10 wickets.
2: In 1976 , against England, he appealed against England’s fast bowler John Lever for applying vaseline on the ball. Lever survived it as he said that he applied vaseline on his hairs to spot the sweat from coming to his mouth.
3:In 1978, when Bedi was the captain against Pakistan, India needed 23 runs from 26 balls against Pakistan. Sarfaraz Nawaz , Pakistan’s bowler, bowled 4 consecutive bouncers and Bedi appealed against it and demanded it to be called wide. Umpire didnot agree and Bedi called the team back and India lost the match.
4: In 1990 , he was the coach if the Indian cricket team. The team did not fare well on a foreign tour and he said that he will be drowning players while returning back to India.
5: He was a firm opposer of Muttiah Muralitharan , for whom he believed that he is cheating the cricketing world by his illegal action.
Some of his achievements are:
1:He took more than 100 wickets twice in county seasons.
2: He took 1560 first class wickets.
3:When he retired, he was the leading wicket taker in Test cricket for India with 266 wickets in Test cricket.
4:Today , he is the 5th highest wicket taker for india in Test cricket.
5:In 2008 , Wisden named him among 5 cricketers who could not be named as Wisden Cricketer of the year.