Yashpal Sharma: The unsung hero of 1983 World Cup who played key role in crucial games

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The middle-order batsman was the second highest run maker in the 1983 World Cup. The Punjab batsman played his last game in international cricket in 1985 during the West Indies tour of India

Our Bureau
New Delhi

Former Indian cricketer and 1983 World Cup winner Yashpal Sharma passed away on Tuesday due to a cardiac arrest. “Yashpal Sharma passed away around 7:40 in the morning due to cardiac arrest. He was declared dead on arrival,” sources close to the family said. Yashpal had made his debut for India in 1978 against Pakistan in Sialkot. He scored 11 runs off 26 balls as Pakistan defeated India by eight wickets.

The 66-year-old former cricketer played his first game in the longest format in 1979 against England at Lord’s. The right-handed batsman played 37 Tests and 42 ODIs for India, scoring 1606 and 883 respectively in the formats.

The right-handed batsman played a key role in India’s 1983 World Cup win. He had scored 11 runs in the final as India registered a historic win over West Indies.

Yashpal played his last game in international cricket in 1985 during the West Indies tour of India.

Yashpal was also an umpire and national selector.

A brilliant fielder and a gutsy right-handed batsman, Sharma was India’s second-highest run-getter in the 1983 tournament, scoring 240 runs which included two half-centuries — a brave 89 in India’s opening game against West Indies and a match-winning 61 in the semi-final against England.

His death sent shockwaves across the cricket fraternity and the whole country.

“Shocked and deeply pained by the demise of Yashpal Sharma ji. Have fond memories of watching him bat during the 1983 World Cup. His contribution to Indian cricket shall always be remembered. My sincere condolences to the entire Sharma family,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar.

Taking to Twitter, Yuvraj Singh wrote: “Very sad news of the untimely demise of Yashpal Sharma paaji. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to his family and loved ones #YashpalSharma.”

Virender Sehwag also remembered one of the heroes of the 1983 World Cup win as he tweeted: “So sorry to hear about #YashpalSharma Paaji ‘s passing away, one of the heroes of our 1983 WC win. Heartfelt condolences. Om Shanti.”

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the former teammate and friend of Yashpal also condoled the demise of the star cricketer. He said: “Sad to hear the demise of my former teammate and friend #YashpalSharma! He was one of the main heroes who helped us lifting the 1983 world cup! May his soul rest in peace.”

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind mourned the loss of the former cricketer as he tweeted: “Sad to hear about the demise of cricketer Yashpal Sharma. His remarkable performances during the key matches in 1983 cricket World-Cup played a crucial role in one of India’s greatest triumphs in cricketing history. My deepest condolences to his family, followers & team members.” Yashpal Sharma passed away due to cardiac arrest early on Tuesday morning. He was also an umpire and a national selector.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur condoled the demise of former Indian cricketer Yashpal Sharma on Tuesday. Birla said Yashpal gave many “golden moments” to Indian cricket and added that his death is an “irreparable loss” to the cricketing world.

The Sports Minister said the contribution of Yashpal won’t be forgotten. “Saddened by the passing away of ace cricketer & 1983 World Cup winning member Sh Yashpal Sharma. He had an illustrious career & was India’s second-highest run getter at the 1983 World Cup. He was also an umpire and national selector. His contribution won’t be forgotten,” Anurag tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the demise of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma on Tuesday.

PM Modi termed Yashpal an “inspiration” for teammates, fans and said he is “anguished” by the passing away of the former cricketer. “Shri Yashpal Sharma Ji was a much beloved member of the Indian cricket team, including the legendary 1983 squad. He was an inspiration for teammates, fans as well as budding cricketers. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” PM Modi tweeted.

Amit Shah hailed Yashpal’s contribution to India’s historic victory in the 1983 World Cup and said his demise is a great loss to the cricketing world. “Yashpal Sharma was a great player of cricket who contributed significantly to India’s historic victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. His thrilling innings will always be in our memory. His death is a great loss to the cricketing world. My condolences to his family and supporters. peace,” Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Indian cricketer and a member of 1983 World cup winning team Yashpal Sharma died due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also mourned the demise of the cricketer.

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister described Yashpal as an outstanding cricketer who brought laurels to the country as a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team.

“Being a son of the soil, Sharma would always be remembered by one and all especially Punjabis as a fine batsman besides National Selector of Indian cricket team,” added Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday condoled the demise of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma.

“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.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday condoled the demise of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma.

“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,” said Yashpal in an official release issued by BCCI.

Expressing grief over Yashpal Sharma’s demise, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said: “I am deeply saddened by the demise of Yashpal Sharma. We have lost one of our cricketing heroes. He was a valuable middle-order batsman, a sharp fielder and an affable person off the field. His contribution to Indian cricket shall always be remembered. I extend my condolences to his family in this hour of grief.”

Sharma, who represented the country in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs, scored 2,489 runs in international cricket. He also had 2 hundreds and 13 half-centuries to his name.

He played 160 first-class matches and scored 8,933 runs in addition to 1,859 runs in List A cricket. He also served as a national selector from 2004 to 2005 and later from 2008 to 2011.

The sudden demise of cricketer Yashpal Sharma has shattered everyone. Celebrities from the film industry as well as the sports fraternity are mourning the demise of the iconic athlete. Actor Jatin Sarna, who will be seen portraying the role of the late athlete in the upcoming sports drama ’83’, took to his Instagram handle to mourn the demise of the cricketer.

Jatin posted a picture featuring himself with the late athlete and captioned it as, “This is not done sir, no not fair and god you too not fair. Yashpal sir can’t believe, you can not leave so soon abhi toh paari baaki thi, I was yet to meet you, I had to come to your house to meet you, we had to see the film together, I had to see your expressions. Had to shout Yash Pah Yash Pah, everyone had to know who this lion is @yashpalsharmacricketer you will be remembered, History will never forget you #83thefilm.”

Ranveer Singh, who will essay the role of Kapil Dev in the movie, also paid his condolences by posting a picture of the late cricketer on his Instagram handle with a heartbroken emoticon. Tahir Raj Bhasin, who will portray Sunil Gavaskar in the upcoming film, also expressed his grief over the demise of Yashpal.

He said, “Saddened by the demise of Yashpal Sharma. A story of sheer grit and incredible sporting spirit in the history books of Indian cricket. Yashpal Sir was a rock on the pitch and a major reason for India’s 1983 World Cup win. Today I remember his accomplishments and immense contributions that made the country proud. Condolences to his friends, family and fans. May he rest in peace.”

Saqib Saleem, who will portray the role of Mohinder Amarnath in the movie, took to his Instagram Story and posted a monochrome picture of the cricketer. Mourning the demise of the athlete, he wrote, “Rest In Peace Sir. Love and strength to the family”.

The cricketer was eagerly awaiting the release of Kabir Khan-directorial ’83’ where his contribution helped in the portrayal of his on-screen character. 

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