Former Indian cricketer Yashpal Sharma, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, passed away due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning, news agency PTI reported citing family sources. A middle-order batsman, Sharma represented India in 37 Test matches and 42 one-day internationals.
He was an important member of Kapil Dev's side that won the World Cup in England in 1983. Sharma was India's second-highest scorer behind Kapil Dev in the tournament, piling up 240 runs in 8 innings with two half-centuries to his kitty.
He made his Test debut for India on the tour of England in 1979 and played the last of his 37 Tests in October 1983. He scored an unbeaten century against Australia in Delhi, while his highest Test score of 140 was scored in Chennai against England. He scored 1606 runs at an average of 33.45 in Test cricket.
But Sharma's legacy in Indian cricket will be defined by the importance of his role for the team during the victorious 1983 World Cup campaign. He started the tournament with a bang as he top-scored with 89 against West Indies in India's opening match and helped the team upset the defending champions. He had a string of low scores thereafter but came up with an important knock of 40 against Australia in a must-win game for the team.
With the team through to the semi-final for the first time, Yashpal produced a knock of 61, the highest score for India, as they chased down the target of 214 set by England to enter the final. The summit clash against West Indies was a low scoring affair and Sharma contributed 11 runs to India's total of 183.
Yashpal served as a national selector for a couple years until December 2005 and was reappointed to the panel in 2008. He also made regular appearances on TV news channels as a cricket expert.