NEW DELHI: On Tuesday morning, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning group misplaced its first member when Yashpal Sharma handed away following a cardiac arrest at 7.40 am. Only 66 years previous, Yashpal had simply returned from a morning stroll.
When Kirti Azad broke the information on the WhatsApp group for all of the 1983-winning group members, the group stayed silent for over two hours. “Everyone went numb. None of us could process the news. Nobody could react. The backbone of the team is gone and our team is broken,” an emotional Azad advised TOI.
Yashpal represented India in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs earlier than turning into one of the selectors within the committee led by his teammate Okay Srikkanth, which picked the group that received the World Cup in 2011. Yashpal is greatest remembered for his knock of 61 towards England within the 1983 World Cup semifinal.
An ever-smiling man who dressed immaculately, Yashpal was additionally one of the best storytellers who might seamlessly transport you to a bygone period. During his final stint as Punjab selector in 2017-18, he would watch most matches on the floor. Sitting by the boundary within the winter solar on the Ferozeshah Kotla in February 2018, he would neatly button up his blazer and be prepared for any dialog if one approached him.
As the younger Punjab batsmen have been attempting out the now-quintessential restricted-overs improvised photographs, one could not assist however ask Yashpal concerning the one-legged flick off Bob Willis that went deep into the stands in Manchester throughout that semifinal.
“I never practiced that. It just happened on impulse. I covered the stumps to have better access to the ball but Willis speared the ball towards my stumps and I just reacted to it. I never played that shot again,” he mentioned, breaking into fun.
For Azad, although, Yashpal’s magic second occurred a lot earlier in that match when he ran out Allan Lamb with a direct hit. “I had just got Ian Botham out. Yashpal was fielding at short fine-leg. Allan Lamb hit one towards him and set off for a single.
“He pounced on the ball and hit the stumps on the bowling finish, the place I used to be bowling from. That reminiscence is lingering proper in entrance of my eyes. Nowadays folks discuss Ravindra Jadeja. That man was doing it since then,” Azad said. “He used to casually say he cherished enjoying marbles, that is why he was so good at it.”
Azad also reckoned that the impetus in that World Cup campaign was provided by Yashpal with his 89 against the mighty West Indies in the opening game. “He set the agenda for the match with that innings,” he said.
Yashpal lived with a regret that he could never own the footages of his World Cup heroics. “BBC had shared some of the footages with Doordarshan. I specifically appeared for that 89 towards West Indies. I stored requesting Doordarshan for a replica of the footages they’d. They delayed it after which I received to know the footage was ruined when a fireplace broke out at Doordarshan’s workplace in Delhi,” Yashpal as soon as repented.
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has been his good friend from their college days. He was in awe of Yashpal’s health consciousness.
On June 25, Kapil Dev had organized a get collectively in Delhi to rejoice the 1983 win. “He appeared the fittest of the lot. He was a health freak and all the time took care of his well being. I requested him how he stored himself so match. He mentioned he ate solely soup within the evenings and went for lengthy walks. He was a vegetarian and teetotaler. If this will occur to him it simply exhibits life is so unpredictable,” Vengsarkar told TOI, as his voice started trembling.
“We have had loads of partnerships for India. I bear in mind the Test match at Kotla towards Asif Iqbal’s Pakistan group in 1979. We have been on the verge of dropping the Test on the fifth morning. After a partnership with him, we received near profitable the Test. It led to a draw as a result of we misplaced just a few wickets in the long run,” he spoke of his fondest memory with Yashpal.
“Jovial”, “constructive”, “modest” and “humble” was how Yashpal’s teammates described him. But the standout virtue was his guts and grit.
Yashpal would also fondly reminisce about the tour of West Indies which preceded the 1983 World Cup. The second Test in Port-of-Spain was the defining match for him.
“I bear in mind Dilip (Vengsarkar) was batting properly within the second innings and he made a comment to Andy Roberts which infuriated the West Indians. Viv (Richards) would preserve screaming “Kill him, maan” from the slips. They focused our heads and our bodies. Dilip was ultimately dismissed for 45 off a Roberts brief ball which was taken by ‘keeper Dujon. All eleven escorted Dilip to the boundary line,” Yashpal once said during one of his chats at the Kotla.
“Sunny (Sunil Gavaskar) had clearly acknowledged that if you wish to do properly then do not be afraid of sporting the deliveries in your physique. They have been too fast to hook or pull and even get out of the best way persistently. You couldn’t have uncovered the stumps both. I made a decision to observe Sunny’s phrases blindly and took a number of blows and scored a 50. The match led to a draw. It was one of the proudest moments for me.”
“He performed the sport very exhausting. He put a worth on his wicket and will change gears as per the scenario. He was our ‘Mr Consistent’ all through the World Cup and was a superb fielder,” Vengsarkar said.
He showed guts both on and off the pitch. He and the late Chetan Chauhan once came to the rescue of three Sikh players in the North Zone team during a train journey days after Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. After asking Navjot Sidhu, Yograj Singh and Rajinder Ghai to hide in the compartment, Yashpal and Chauhan had confronted an agitated mob and got them to vacate the compartment.
Yashpal played in an era when opportunities to stake a claim for a place in the Indian team were far and few between. “If you have been out of favour, you had only a few tournaments to make a comeback,” he would say. He was proud of the fact that he had taken his job at State Bank Of India seriously and had converted it into one of the most professional cricket teams in corporate cricket.
Yashpal leaves behind indelible memories for his mates. He may not have got the footages of his heroics but he will forever live on in the hearts of Indian cricket fans.
Saved 3 Sikh players during ’84 riots
Yashpal Sharma stood out for his guts and grit, on and off the pitch. Along with Chetan Chauhan, Sharma had come to the rescue of three Sikh players of the North Zone team during a nerve-racking train journey in the middle of the 1984 riots. After asking Navjot Sidhu, Yograj Singh and Rajinder Ghai to hide in the compartment, a daring Sharma and Chauhan confronted a mob and made sure they didn’t harm the three.