Yashpal Sharma, India’s 1983 World Cup hero and the backbone of the team’s middle-order at the peak of his batting prowess, passed away on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. In a glittering career spanning 37 Tests and 42 ODIs, Sharma gathered almost 2500 runs in international cricket.
The highlight of Sharma’s career was the England tour in 1979, scoring 884 runs at 58.93 in three of the four Tests. He was also known for his stroke-filled half-century in the 1983 World Cup semi-final against England.
Sharma was India’s second-highest scorer behind Kapil Dev in the marquee tournament, scoring 240 runs in eight innings including two half-centuries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the demise of Sharma. The former Indian cricketer is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.
Modi termed Sharma as an “inspiration” and added that he is “anguished” by the cricketer’s death.
“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.
“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.
President Ramnath Kovind also mourned the death of Sharma and highlighted the batsman’s “remarkable” performances in the 1983 World Cup.
“Sad to hear about the demise of cricketer Yashpal Sharma. His remarkable performances during the key matches in the 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,” he tweeted.