New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Yashpal Sharma, former Indian cricketer whose explosive knocks in 1983 Cricket World Cup were integral to India’s World Cup win for the first time, died of cardiac arrest in New Delhi on Tuesday at the age of 66. Sharma is widely regarded as the ‘backbone’ of Indian middle order in late 1970s and early 1980s. Yashpal Sharma represented Indian cricket team in 37 Test matches and 42 One-Day Internationals.

Sunil Gavaskar, Yashpal Sharma’s teammate and one amongst India’s finest cricketers of all time, once referred to Sharma as a crisis man who thrived under pressure. Sharma was not just a fan of late-actor Dilip Kumar but also an ardent admirer. For it was Dilip Kumar, who had recommended Yashpal Sharma to BCCI’s Raj Singh Dugarpur after sensing his batting talent in a Ranji match in which Yashpal was playing for Punjab.

Yashpal Sharma was also India’s national cricket selector from 2003 to 2006. At the time when Greg Chappell-led conflict in Team India was dominating the scenes, Sharma reportedly supported Sourav Ganguly over Greg Chappell and tried to cool down the things in the team.

1983 Cricket World Cup and the saga of Yashpal Sharma’s powerful knocks

Yashpal Sharma’s legacy is defined by his 1983 Cricket World Cup knocks. In India’s first match in the World Cup against West Indies, Yashpal came to bat at number five and scored 89 runs off 120 balls with quick running between the wickets. Yashpal’s knock took India to record a 34-run win against West Indies.

Going forward, Yashpal Sharma’s aggressive 40 against Australia and powerful 61-runs against England in the semi finals played crucial roles in India winning those games.

Yashpal scored 240 runs in the tournament at 34.28 as Kapil Dev and team went on to lift the World Cup.

In a career, spanning over the late 70's and the 80's, the Ludhiana-born Yashpal Sharma played 37 tests and scored 1606 runs with two centuries and nine fifties  with an average of over 33.

He made his One Day International debut earlier in 1978 against Pakistan while scoring a total of 883 runs at an average of 28.48. 

‘Heartbroken’, react former Indian Cricketers

Tributes started pouring in from across the Cricket fraternity following the reports about Yashpal Sharma’s death due to cardiac arrest. From former Cricketers Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Venkatesh Prasad to Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, condolences were poured in for Sharma from across the fields.


Yashpal Sharma is survived by his wife and three children.


Posted By: Mukul Sharma