New Delhi: Former cricketer and World Cup hero Yashpal Sharma died on Tuesday after a cardiac arrest.
Yashpal Sharma was an explosive middle-order batsman who played during the 1970s and 80s. Middle-order batsmen represented India in 37 Test matches, scoring 1606 runs at an average of 33.45 including two centuries.
Yashpal Sharma first drew attention when he scored 260 for Punjab schools against Jammu & Kashmir schools in 1972. Within two years, he was in the state team and a member of the North Zone team that won the Vizzy Trophy. His first major innings in first-class cricket was a 173 in the Duleep Trophy for North, against the South Zone which had Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Venkataraghavan.
Dilip Saab made a career
Yashpal Sharma in an interview revealed that he managed to break into the national set-up only because of Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar. Thespian Kumar passed away at the age of 98 last week.
Impressed with his “temperament” after watching him bat in a Ranji Trophy game, Dilip Kumar recommended Yashpal’s name to his friend Raj Singh Dungarpur. After Dilip Kumar’s recommendation, the cricketer got a place in the Indian team and then went on to become the world champion.
RIP YUSUF SAAB. Will always be remembered. Om Shanti?? pic.twitter.com/Tre7Ehxv3I
— Yashpal Sharma (@cricyashpal) July 7, 2021
As per Deccan Chronicle, Yashpal Sharma said, “In fact, Yusuf Bhai (Dilip Kumar’s real name was Yusuf Khan) changed my life by uplifting my career. In the 1974-75 domestic season, he had come to the Mohan Nagar Ground in Delhi to watch the Punjab v UP Ranji knockout match. I had scored a hundred in both innings for Punjab and during our second innings, I noticed that some prominent personality had come in a car and was watching the match from a special seating area. I thought he must have been some top politician.
“Later, Yusuf Bhai invited me for a chat and congratulated me for my century. ‘You have played an excellent game, I will recommend your name to someone,’ were his words. The next day, my photograph appeared alongside Yusuf Bhai in the newspapers and I was stunned. Only later did I get to know that Yusif Bhai went on to recommend me to the late Raj Singh Dungarpur, who was a prominent cricket administrator. Yusuf Bhai told Raj Singhji that I deserved to play for the country and my life was transformed thereafter,” recalled Sharma.