India’s Yashpal Sharma dies aged 66

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He was a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning side

Yashpal Sharma, a member of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning side, has died after a cardiac arrest. Sharma was 66.
A middle-order batter, he played 37 Tests and 42 ODIs for India between 1978 and 1985. He was the second-highest run-getter in India’s historic 1983 triumph, scoring two half-centuries: an 89 in India’s win over West Indies in the group stage, and 61 in the semi-final against England.

In his first-class career that spanned nearly two decades, Sharma scored 8933 runs, with 21 centuries and 46 half-centuries.

Post-retirement, he remained actively involved in coaching, commentary and cricket administration. He served as a national selector across two stints, first from 2004 to 2005, and later from 2008 to 2011. He also officiated in a number of domestic matches, both as an umpire and match referee. Most recently, he was part of Delhi’s Cricket Advisory Committee.

Sharma was born in Ludhiana and represented Punjab, Haryana and Railways in the domestic circuit. He first came into national contention in 1977, when he made a match-winning 173 for North Zone in the Duleep Trophy final, against a South Zone attack comprising BS Chandrasekhar, S Abid Ali and Erapalli Prasanna.

He was subsequently picked for the Pakistan tour but had to wait for nearly two years for his Test debut, at Lord’s against England. Sharma scored two Test centuries, his first an unbeaten 100 against Australia in Delhi. In the following Test, Sharma made 85 not out off 117 balls in Kolkata to steer India’s race towards the 247-run target before bad light halted play. Sharma’s second Test ton (140) came during the course of a 316-run stand with Gundappa Viswanath, who made 222, against England in Chennai.

Sharma is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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