Bishan Singh Bedi’s 75th birthday is gift for family, friends: ‘We got him back’

Seven months after that surgery, Bedi, slightly frail, cuts a cake shaped like a cricket ball, his son Angad and daughter Neha stand on either side; Anju, behind him, leans over to plant a kiss on his cheek. Each one is aware that this picture-perfect frame is a very special gift they have got.

On Friday, a day before his 75th birthday, at the launch of a book on him (The Sardar of Spin), sits Indian cricket legend Bishan Singh Bedi, in a wheelchair, ringed by doting fans and former team-mates.

Watching him, mindful that he doesn’t let his mask slip, is wife Anju, as she recalls that grim day this February when she had to take the most important decision of her life — and perhaps

Three days after his heart surgery, Bedi had a stroke because of a brain clot. A risky surgery was needed and she was asked for her consent.

“Bishan was lying in the Operation Theatre. Something which he always says sort of enveloped me. He would tell the boys, ‘The game is never over until the last ball is bowled’. That’s when I instantly made the decision and I said, ‘Go ahead with the surgery’. Everybody thought it was the end of the road but I said to myself, ‘Surely your game is not over’,” says Anju with a smile whose warmth touches everyone present.

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