Yashpal Sharma’s India teammates from 1983 WC react to his demise

Yashpal Sharma was 66 years old and is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.

The Indian team for the 1983 World Cup with Yashpal Sharma second from left in standing row | GettyThe Indian team members of the victorious 1983 World Cup contingent were left in shock as one of the key performers of that tournament Yashpal Sharma passed away on July 13, 2021, due to a heart attack at the age of 66.

Yashpal, a former middle-order batsman, died on Tuesday after suffering a massive cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He was 66 and is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son. According to sources, Yashpal collapsed at home after returning from his morning walk.

He played 37 Tests and 42 ODIs for India from 1979-1985. He made 1606 Test runs with 2 centuries with the best score of 140 and in 42 ODIs, he made 883 runs with 4 half-centuries and a highest score of 89.

Yashpal Sharma passes away at 66; Indian cricket fraternity condoles his demise

Overall in his cricket career, Yashpal Sharma played 160 FC matches making 8933 runs with 21 centuries and 46 half-centuries and the best score of 201*. He made 1859 runs in 74 one-day matches with a best of 91.

However, Yashpal Sharma remains memorable to India fans thanks to his contribution to the team’s cause in winning the 1983 World Cup in England. He scored 240 runs at an average of 34.28. This included a brilliant half-century against hosts England in the semi-final of the tournament.

England had put up 213 batting first with Yashpal Sharma running out Allan Lamb for 29. India had a good start in the chase with Mohinder Amarnath making 56 and Sandeep Patil remaining unbeaten on 51 in 32 balls with 8 fours. But it was Yashpal Sharma, who made 61 in 115 balls to anchor the innings, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes.

Yashpal Sharma during his playing days | GettyHis innings remain one of the best played by any Indian batsman in the World Cup tournament and his 1983 teammates were shocked and saddened to know about Yashpal’s untimely demise.

Captain of the ’83 team Kapil Dev broke down when PTI contacted him and could only say, “I won’t be able to speak.”

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, teetotaler, used to have soup for his dinner, and very particular about his morning walks. I am just shocked,” Dilip Vengsarkar told PTI.

1983 World Cup winner Yashpal Sharma passes away due to cardiac arrest

Fast bowler Balwinder Singh Sandhu said that he was heartbroken after hearing the news of Yashpal Sharma’s demise. He also said that Yashpal “played a huge role in winning the World Cup” but didn’t get his due.

Shocking, this is the worst news that I have received. It is like … 83 team is like a family, one of our family members is no more, it is so shocking,” Sandhu told PTI.

“…we had three tours together and there are a lot of memories, which I cannot speak right now. I am so saddened by this news. But we will all miss him that is for sure. I’ll pray for his soul to rest in peace,” he said.

Yashpal Sharma with his India teammates | GettyFormer Indian captain Kris Srikkanth said he has lost a friend and mentioned, “He was one of the main heroes who helped us lift the 1983 World Cup. I have great memories of playing with him. My condolences to his family. As a co-selector in picking the team for the 2011 World Cup, Yashpal played a key role.”

Kirti Azad, who also played an important role in India winning the semi-final against England in the 1983 World Cup, said, “He told me that day we met that I had lost weight. We had a great reunion. I remember the very first game in the 1983 world Cup playing the mighty Windies with that quartet of fast bowlers, he set the agenda and we won that game. He was again fantastic in the semifinal, hitting Bob Willis for a six.”

He even said that Yashpal Sharma was the earlier version of Ravindra Jadeja when it came to athleticism on the field and hitting the stumps directly.

Nowadays people say (Ravindra) Jadeja hits stumps regularly but so did Yashpal. He was a live wire on the field and would hit stumps all the time. He was the guy who was always on the lookout for doing something or the other in the field,” Azad said.  

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 13 Jul, 2021

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