Why Indian players are wearing black armbands against England in the Cricket World Cup

The hosts are paying their respects.

Why Indian players are wearing black armbands against England in the Cricket World Cup
India at the Cricket World Cup
India are in action against England today (Picture: Getty)

Indian players are wearing black armbands in their sixth Cricket World Cup game against England in Lucknow.

The host nation have enjoyed a perfect start to their World Cup campaign with five wins from five to cement themselves as the favourites to get their hands on the trophy next month.

The same cannot be said of England, however, who are all but out of the competition having lost four of their opening five fixtures in what has been a dismal defence of their title.

So, why exactly are Indian cricketers wearing black armbands in today’s group game at the Cricket World Cup?

Here is everything you need to know.

Why are Indian cricketers wearing black armbands?

Indian players are wearing black armbands against England as a mark of respect to former captain and legendary spinner, Bishan Singh Bedi, who passed away last Monday aged 77 following a prolonged illness.

Bedi featured in 67 Tests for India between 1966 and 1979, claiming 266 wickets in the process and captaining the side on 22 occasions.

India at the Cricket World Cup
India are paying their respects to one of their legends (Picture: Getty)

His best Test bowling figure was 7/98 against Australia in Calcutta in 1969/70, and his best match figure was 10/194 in Perth in 1977/78 – also against the Baggy Greens.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler formed part of the legendary Indian spin quartet, alongside Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar.

The quartet took 853 wickets in just 231 Test matches, making them one of the deadliest attacks in the history of the game.

He also took a further ten wickets in 10 ODI fixtures, which included playing a role in India’s first ever victory in ODI history.

Bedi could also boast being the highest Indian wicket-taker in First-Class cricket with 1,560 wickets in 370 games, primarily for Delhi.

He was one of the most decorated overseas players in English County cricket, playing 102 times for Northamptonshire between 1972 and 1977.

In that time he claimed 434 wickets – the most by an Indian player in the English domestic game.

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