What makes Bishan Singh Bedi angry

2021-01-03 02:57:37

There was grace in his nimble steps as he would tip-toe towards the bowling crease. His arms would swivel in one smooth movement and the spinning ball he tossed was like a weapon that posed many challenging questions for the batsman. The speed of the ball would be so slow that the batsman would have ample time to make a decision: Should he go forward or back, should he attack or defend? Unaware that he was being lulled into a false sense of security, his indecision would entangle him in a maze of confusion. He would end up making a silly mistake and Bishan Singh Bedi would slay one more victim. It was a bloodless coup, achieved through guile and deception that has spawned reams of lyrical prose in the history of cricket writing, which still does no justice to the beauty of his action and the subtlety of his art.

Bedi, the artful dodger as he was known worldwide, in his public life, unlike his bowling, is as blunt as anyone can be, especially when it comes to speaking against the establishment. He has a long history of ‘rebellion’, fighting for the causes dear to his heart. There are no compromises here. A spade is to be called a spade, even if the consequences, in a world and an ecosystem that is teeming with sycophants, as he puts it, can be disastrous. Unlike most of our cricketers, who revel in pleasing their cricket bosses and never take a stand on issues that demand scrutiny, Bedi has, since his playing days, stood up to the autocratic ways of the administrators and even succeeded many a time in the past. If he is in the news today for having written a stinging missive to the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) for erecting the statue of a politician outside the Kotla stadium, that of the late BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley, in the past he was responsible for overthrowing the then DDCA ruling regime of the Mehras (Ram Prakash Mehra and his nephew KK Mehra). That revolt in the 1970 was all the more remarkable as it was led by Delhi’s active Ranji cricketers with Bedi, who was the captain of the side, at the helm. All they demanded was better cricketing facilities, remuneration and fair selection. Today the money may have increased but other factors remain the same in the DDCA.

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