India’s 1983 World Cup hero Yashpal Sharma, an integral part of the team’s middle-order, died on Tuesday after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. He was 66 and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
In a career spanning 37 Tests and 42 ODIs, Sharma scored 1606 and runs respectively, including a match-winning fifty in the 1983 World Cup semi-final against England. He was also part of the selection panel that picked the triumphant 2011 World Cup squad under MS Dhoni‘s leadership.
The cricket fraternity, left stunned by Sharma’s untimely demise, mourned the loss of the World Cup hero.
BCCI president and ex-India skipper Sourav Ganguly also condoled Sharma’s death. “Sad to hear the news of Yashpal Sharma ..had the opportunity to work with him as captain, player and then on TV. A very important part of the 1983 win which showed young players like us dream of trophies. RIP,” tweeted Ganguly.
Sharma had also witnessed Ganguly’s fallout with the team’s Australian coach Greg Chappell back in 2006. As a selector, Sharma had backed Ganguly at that time.
Secretary Jay Shah described Sharma as a great servant of Indian cricket.
“Yashpal Sharma will be remembered by all for his batting heroics in India’s 1983 World Cup winning campaign.
“Apart from being one of the key architects from that historic win, he also had an illustrious cricketing career and will fondly be remembered for being a great servant of Indian cricket. The Board shares the pain and grief of the family and prays for the departed soul,” Shah said.
Treasurer Arun Dhumal remembered him as a man who never shied away from challenges. “A gritty batsman and a team man, Yashpal Sharma never shied away from challenges and that quality of his will continue to inspire the upcoming cricketers. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
In his Ranji career, Sharma played 160 matches amassing 8,933 runs which included 21 centuries with the highest score of 201 not out. He represented three teams — Punjab, Haryana and Railways.
He was an umpire too and stood in a couple of women’s ODIs. The former player also served as coach of the Uttar Pradesh Ranji side.