The Indian spin legend was not just a brilliant cricketer but also a wonderful human being.

Cricket is an unpredictable game that is full of surprises. These surprises come not just to those who play it but also to those that are involved with the game indirectly.

The biggest surprise the game of cricket gave me was an association with the Sardar of spin - Bishan Singh Bedi.

There were many unique aspects about Bishan as a human being. He was a deeply pious man and held his Sikh faith very close to his heart. Yet, he did not wear his faith on his sleeve.

Bishan was very accommodating of all faiths and often suggested that it didn't matter as long as God was worshipped.

Another passion of Bedi was his love of poetry, music and books. Few months back I had the honour of visiting his home and was astonished to see his library. Few cricketers would be as well read.

ONE of the best things about Bishan was his ability to treat people with lesser ability with respect. The best and biggest example of this is my own experience with him.

He often listened to me fully knowing that I was not half as wise as him. He was a giver and never allowed me to pay for a meal. 

The Delhi Golf Club was his favorite place and I had many meals with him over there.  Along with the food I always soaked in a lot of knowledge as well.

Another special quality of Bishan was to root for the underdog. Bishen always wanted the game of cricket to reach the remotest corners of India. We once discussed going to the Thar desert for Bedi to teach spin bowling to young children.

He never said no to anything related to cricket. 

The quality that I admired most in Bishan Singh Bedi was that he was not for sale. Modern cricketers are too much driven by commerce.

We once met at Delhi's Lajpat Nagar and I expressed a desire to have ' chole bhatura, ' the favorite delicacy of Delhi. Bishan did not allow me to pay even for that.

On other occasion he invited me to a book launch event for which I was not officially invited. Bishan would have none of it. It was impossible to win with Bishan Singh Bedi.

How could I win any argument against Bishen when even Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar dared not speak too much in front of him.

Bishan Singh Bedi was the moral voice of Indian cricket. He was one of the strongest human personalities I ever met. I am no expert on cricket. The world already knows about the cricketing skills of Bishan Singh Bedi.

It would be interesting to note what an Australian cricketer once said about Bishan Singh Bedi. He described Bedi as one of the most complete left arm spinners in the history of the game.

That Australian was none other than Don Bradman who was an admirer of Bishan Singh Bedi.

Bishan encouraged me to write about the game of cricket. He taught me to admire cricketers from all over the world. For him the history of the game was very important. He was deeply rooted to cricket. It was his greatest passion.

I am thankful to the game of cricket for bringing me close to cricketing royalty in the form of Bishan Singh Bedi. It was my tryst with greatness.

The World Students Society thanks Kush Singh.


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