Yashpal Sharma was a former Indian cricketer and one of the most explosive batters who batted for India in the middle order during the 1980s. He rose to prominence with his 89 runs against West Indies in the opening game in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
Yashpal Sharma was born on Wednesday, 11 April 1954 (age 66 years; at the time of death) in Ludhiana, Punjab. His zodiac sign is Leo. He started his professional cricket by scoring 260 runs against Jammu & Kashmir Schools for Punjab Schools in 1972. Following his performances in the domestic circuit, he got selected for the Indian team in October 1978. It was the legendary actor Dilip Kumar who recommended his name to the national Indian selection board. In the 1979 Cricket World Cup, he was selected but did not get a chance to play any game. But in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, he played 8 games and scored 240 runs. In the semis of that World Cup against England, he scored 61 runs. Following that, his form dipped and he missed several matches then. But he was consistent in the domestic format where he spent two years with Railways. After retiring from cricket, he served Indian cricket as an umpire, national team selector, and later served as the coach for the Uttar Pradesh Ranji team. He died on 13 July 2021 due to Cardiac Arrest.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Natural Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Prem Chand Sharma while his mother’s name is Pratibha Sharma. He has one elder brother whose name is Ghanshyam Sharma.
Wife & Children
He is married to Renu Sharma.
The couple is blessed with one son named Chirag Sharma and two daughters named Pooja Sharma and Preeti Sharma.
His nephew’s name is Chetan Sharma and he is a former Indian cricketer.
On 2 August 1979 against England at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
On 13 October 1978 against Pakistan at Connelly Park (now Jinnah Stadium) in Sialkot.
Not Outs- 11
Highest Score- 140
One Day Internationals
Not Outs- 9
Highest Score- 89
Balls Faced- 1401
Strike Rate- 63.02
Strike Rate- 30.0
One Day Internationals
Strike Rate- 201.0
He first scored 260 runs for Punjab schools against Jammu & Kashmir schools in 1972. Within a span of two years, he was in the state team for Punjab. He also was a member of the North Zone team that won the Vizzy Trophy. The first major inning he played in first-class cricket was in the Duleep Trophy for North Zone against the South Zone comprising of star players like Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna, and Venkataraghavan.
In the 1974-75 season, Yashpal Sharma was playing a Ranji game for Punjab against Uttar Pradesh. He scored hundreds in both innings. Then suddenly, he got to know that some prominent personality has come to witness this match. Yashpal thought it must be some top politician. But to his surprise, it was the legendary actor Dilip Kumar. After the match, he invited Yashpal to chat and congratulated him for his century. He further added,
“I will recommend your name to someone.”
The next day Yashpal’s photo appeared alongside Dilip Kumar. He got to know that Dilip has recommended his name to Raj Singh Dungarpur, a prominent cricket administrator. He told Dungarpur that Yashpal deserves to play for India. That was the time when Yashpal’s life changed completely thereafter. Deccan Chronicle
He made his international debut for India for the tour of Pakistan after scoring 99 in the Irani Trophy in 1978. He also was part of the Indian squad for the 1979 Cricket World Cup. However, he did not play in any of the World Cup games. He then scored 884 runs at an average of 58 in the tour matches. Making his debut in a test match at Lord’s in 1979, his brilliant form there assured his place for the rest of the games in that tour. His first test hundred came against Australia in Delhi. He missed his century after scoring unbeaten 85 runs off 117 balls at Calcutta (now Kolkata) but before 3.4 overs left in a day play, he appealed against light, and the match was called off.
He made his highest first-class score against Victoria in 1980-81 when he hit unbeaten 201 runs. In the Adelaide Test of that series, he hit 47 off 147 run partnership with Sandeep Patil. After this, he was dropped from the squad. He then hit 140 runs against England in a comeback match at Madras in 1981-82. This inning includes his partnership with Gundappa Viswanath of 316 runs for the third wicket. In a match next year at Port of Spain, he was struck on the head by Malcolm Marshall and was forced to retire. After coming back in the same inning, he scored a fifty. He was then picked for the 1983 Cricket World Cup in the Indian squad. Right in the first match, he scored 89 runs and helped India to defeat world champion West Indies for the first time in World Cups. Unfortunately, this match wasn’t telecasted on television due to some reason. During that inning, he was hit by Malcolm Marshall numerous times on his chest. This followed up with his inning of 61 against England in the semis of that World Cup. One of the memorable shots of that inning was the flick over square leg for a six against a yorker delivery. Talking about that shot, he said,
“I never practiced that. It just happened on an impulse. I covered the stumps to have better access to the ball but Willis the ball towards my stumps and I just reacted to it. I never played that shot again.”
His World Cup campaign ended with being the second-highest run-getter for India in that tournament.
After this World Cup, there was a Pakistan tour where Yashpal could not score big. However, he hit Vivian Richards for four consecutive sixes while playing for the North Zone against the West Indies at Amritsar during a practice game. He then played four ODIs against England in 1984-85 and could not go part 10 runs in any of these matches. In 1987-88, he left Punjab and joined Haryana. He also spent two years with Railways. At the age of 37, he scored hundred in a consecutive matches in 1991-92. After retirement from all forms of cricket, he became an umpire for a time and then became the selector for the Indian national team.
He served as an Indian national selector from 2003 to 2006. Then again he became the national selector from 2008 till 2011. When he was the selector of the national team, India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Then later served as the coach for the Uttar Pradesh Ranji team. In 2014, he became the head of Delhi’s cricket advisory committee.
- Actor: Dilip Kumar
- Music Genre: Jazz
Yashpal Sharma died on 13 July 2021 at 7:40 AM due to cardiac arrest in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
- As Yashpal was an explosive hitter so all his shots were named Badaam Shot as he use to keep a few almonds in his pocket while batting to derive energy from it. Cricket.com
- He was one of the most health-conscious Indian cricketers. He was a complete vegetarian and only had soup in the evening then went for a long walk. The Times of India
- There is a Bollywood movie named ’83’ dedicated to India winning the 1983 Cricket World Cup. This movie was released on 24 December 2021 and Jatin Sarna is playing the role of Yashpal Sharma.
- After his death his former teammate Dilip Vengsarkar said,
“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 was very particular about his morning walks. I am just shocked. 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.”
While former Teammate Kirti Azad said
“He told me that day we met that I had lost weight. We had a great reunion. I remember the very first game in the 1983 World Cup playing the mighty West Indies with those fast bowlers, he set the agenda and we won that game. He was again fantastic in the semifinal hitting Bob Willis for a six. Nowadays people say (Ravindra) Jadeja hits stumps regularly but so did Yashpal. He was a livewire on the field and would hit stumps all the time.”
Shocked and deeply pained by the demise of Yashpal Sharma ji. Have fond memories of watching him bat during the 1983 World Cup. His contribution to Indian cricket shall always be remembered.
My sincere condolences to the entire Sharma family. pic.twitter.com/WBQ6ng2x8I
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 13, 2021
Very sad news of the untimely demise of Yashpal Sharma paaji. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to his family and loved ones 🙏🏻 #YashpalSharma
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) July 13, 2021
- Yashpal Sharma once narrated one incident that happened against West Indies before the 1983 Cricket World Cup with Dilip Vengsarkar. He told,
“I remember Dilip (Vengsarkar) was batting well in the second innings and he made a remark to Andy Roberts which infuriated the West Indians. Viv (Richards) would keep screaming “Kill him, maan” from the slips. They targeted our heads and bodies. Dilip was eventually dismissed for 45 off a Roberts short ball which was taken by ‘keeper Dujon. All eleven escorted Dilip to the boundary line.”