Cricket fans across the world on Tuesday woke up to the sad news of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma dying of a massive cardiac arrest. A middle-order batter, Yashpal is famously remembered for the role he played in bringing home India’s first ever ODI World Cup trophy in 1983.
Born in Ludhiana (Punjab) on August 11, 1954, he went on to represent India in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs between 1978 and 1985, scoring a combined 2489 runs including two centuries and 13 half-centuries. Post his cricket career, Yashpal dabbled in umpiring, became a national selector and coached Uttar Pradesh as well.
His two most significant moments of career came at the 1983 World Cup in England. The first, in India’s tournament opener when they took on the mighty West Indies.
Batting at No. 5, Yashpal went on to top-score for India with 89 off 120 against an attack comprising Malcolm Marshall, Sir Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner. His starring effort with the bat helped India to what proved to be a winning total and helped set the momentum for the rest of the showpiece event.
His next major contribution came in the semifinals when he again top-scored for his team with 61 off 115 in a successful chase against England, firing his team to a maiden World Cup final. India would go on to defeat two-time defending champions West Indies in the final to become champions.
Fans are paying rich tributes to Yashpal on social media.
So sorry to hear about #YashpalSharma Paaji ‘s passing away, one of the heroes of our 1983 WC win. Heartfelt condolences. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/Toh3wLHNAw— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 13, 2021
Heartbreaking to learn about the passing away of 1983 World Cup winner #YashpalSharma .My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.Pray that his soul attain Sadgati. Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/Cz0URjCTjY— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) July 13, 2021
Oh dear, so sorry to hear of the death of Yashpal Sharma who played such a big part in one of Indian cricket’s most glorious hours #WorldCup1983. Too early to go. Condolences to his family.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 13, 2021
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.
ॐ शांति pic.twitter.com/fhra6UcngV
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) July 13, 2021
Former batsman Shri Yashpal Sharma Ji’s spectacular performance in the 1983 World Cup is a memory etched on the hearts of many cricket lovers, including me. My heartfelt condolences to his family, loved ones & admirers. Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/Bz6JnUlxjQ— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) July 13, 2021
Deeply saddened to hear about former 🇮🇳 cricketer, Shri. Yashpal Sharma’s demise.The nation will forever be in awe of his middle-order heroics, including ‘that Badam shot’ in a memorable World Cup winning campaign. pic.twitter.com/NgsSZNf25T
— Delhi Capitals (Stay Home. Wear Double Masks😷) (@DelhiCapitals) July 13, 2021
The 1983 WC winner Yashpal Sharma sir was a bundle of energy. It’s heartbreaking to learn that he is no more. Rest in peace, sir. My thoughts and prayers with his family #YashpalSharma pic.twitter.com/vPgJlU0r5P— Gunjan Sethi 🇮🇳 (@ggunjansethi) July 13, 2021
Yashpal is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.