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.
Yashpal Sharma with his wife
The couple is blessed with one son named Chirag Sharma and two daughters named Pooja Sharma and Preeti Sharma.
Yashpal Sharma’s daughter
His nephew’s name is Chetan Sharma and he is a former Indian cricketer.
Yashpal Sharma signature
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.
He is the 2nd player with no ducks in his ODI career.
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.
Newspaper clip of Yashpal Sharma along with Dilip Kumar in 1974-75
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.
Yashpal Sharma in action during a match in 1979 against England
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.
Yashpal Sharma during a test match against England at Oval in August 1979
1983 World Cup-winning Indian team meeting Rajiv Gandhi and Lata Mangeshkar
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.
Yashpal Sharma as an umpire
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.