New Delhi: Ex-cricketer Yashpal Sharma, who was best known for his heroic contributions during 1983 World Cup winning campaign, died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning. Sharma returned from his routine morning walk and collapsed at his home. He was 66 years old and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
Ever since his demise, the whole cricketing fraternity is in utter shock. His teammates from the World Cup winning campaign including Dilip Vengasarkar, Madan Lal, Kapil Dev and Kirti Azad have expressed their shock over the sudden demise of the cricketer.
“It is unbelievable. He was the fittest among all of us. I had asked him that day when we met how about his routine. He was a vegetarian, teetotaller, used to have soup for his dinner and very particular about his morning walks. I am just shocked,” Vengsarkar told PTI.
Sharma was a gutsy middle-order batsman who played with big heart against the fearsome fast bowlers of that era. Sharma was especially instrumental during 1983 World Cup campaign and played couple of decisive knocks at crucial junctures.
During the group stage, Sharma played a brilliant knock of 89 off 120 deliveries against the mighty West Indian team and helped India to come out victorious. Then during the crucial semi-final against England, he stood tall and scored 61 runs in winning cause. Sharma was one of the architects of the historical 1983 World Cup win.
Sharma debuted against England at Lord's in 1979 and played his last Test match in 1983. He had scored 1,606 runs at an average of around 34. On the other hand, Sharma had made his ODI debut in 1978 and played his last ODI in 1985. In between, 883 runs from 42 ODIs.
Sharma was a big name in domestic cricket. He played for Punjab, Haryana and Railways. In Ranji Trophy, he played 160 matches and scored 8,933 runs. He made 21 centuries and his highest score was 201 not out. For a brief period, he was also an umpire.