India’s 1983 World Cup winner Yashpal Sharma, who was admired for being a gutsy middle-order batsman at the peak of his prowess, died on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 66 and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. “Yes, Yashpal is no more with us. We just received the information from his family,” a former India teammate of Yashpal confirmed to PTI. According to sources, Yashpal collapsed at home after returning from his morning walk. In his international career, Yashpal played 37 Tests, scoring 1,606 runs, and 42 ODIs in which he made 883.
He also picked up one wicket each in the two formats. He was known for his gutsy attitude and his stroke-filled half-century in the semifinal against England in the 1983 campaign at Old Trafford will forever be etched in the memories of cricket fans.
He was also a national selector during the early part of the 2000s. Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar expressed his shock at his teammate’s demise.
The 1983 squad had met on the sidelines of a book launch in New Delhi a couple of weeks ago.
“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.
“As a player, he was a proper team man and a fighter. I fondly remember the 1979 Test against Pakistan in Delhi. We both had a partnership that helped us save the game. I knew him since my university days. Still can’t believe it,” he added.
In Ranji Trophy, where he represented three teams — Punjab, Haryana, and Railways — Yashpal played 160 matches amassing 8,933 runs which included 21 centuries with the highest score of 201 not out.
He was an umpire too and stood in a couple of women’s ODIs.
The multi-faceted former player also served as coach of the Uttar Pradesh Ranji team.