Bedi honoured with Chidambaram award

Spin legend says Ashwin and Jadeja undermined by team management.

Felicitating a great: Bishan Singh Bedi receives the Dr. M. A. Chidambaram Centenary Award from THG Publishing Private Limited chairman N. Ram as MAC Charities managing trustee A. C. Muthiah looks on.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

Former India captain and spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was honoured with the Dr. M. A. Chidambaram Birth Centenary Award, instituted by MAC Charities in memory of the former BCCI president, at a grand function here on Friday.

N. Ram, chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited, was the chief guest and gave away the award to Bedi.

Other former Test cricketers like C. D. Gopinath, V. V. Kumar, G. R. Viswanath, K. Srikkanth and T. A. Sekhar were also honoured at the function that was held on the day of the birth centenary.

Soft corner for players

Recalling his memories of Chidambaram, Bedi said, “The players were always comfortable with him because he had a tremendous knack for appreciating talent. He always had a soft corner for players and I can personally vouch for that.”

“I have a great regard for MAC and his deputy S. Sriraman. I haven’t seen better people who have served the game as they did,” added Bedi.

Known for his forthright views, Bedi, speaking after the function, said that R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja has been undermined by the team management.

The duo was dropped from the shorter formats of the game last year, though Jadeja made a comeback in the Asia Cup this September.

“I feel pretty strongly that both were undermined. Rookies like (Yuzvendra) Chahal and (Kuldeep) Yadav are products of IPL and there is a vast difference between them.”

Bedi also hit out at the team’s preparations for away tours and said a lack of warm-up games do have an impact.

“We had a four-day game against Essex which was curtailed to a three-day. Why? Because of the heat? In England? You must be joking.”

Preferences

When asked about the debate between finger and wrist spinners, with skipper Virat Kohli preferring the latter, Bedi said, “The captain must have some preferences but if you do so, then the result must show and not necessarily against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka or West Indies but (against good teams) and in their backyard.”

Discipline and integrity

Ram recalled Chidambaram’s various contributions and highlighted that the former BCCI president brought a sense of financial discipline and integrity to the board’s administration.

He also pointed out that Chidambaram gave a personal guarantee to secure a bank loan for the construction of the cricket stadium in Chennai that is named after him.

Anecdote

Narrating an anecdote, Ram said “during the West Indies tour of India in 1974-75, there was crowd invasion during the Test match in Mumbai and MAC was at the centre of the action trying to bring a sense of order and peace.”

Former BCCI president and son of Chidambaram, A.C. Muthiah, welcomed the gathering and gave brief introductions about the cricketers who were honoured.

“Although my father was involved with numerous sports bodies, his first love was cricket,” recalled Muthiah.