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'Yashpal was a 200 percent man'

By HARISH KOTIAN
July 14, 2021 11:13 IST
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'Day before yesterday I had spoken to him, asking him to come on my YouTube channel.'
'He had said, 'Anytime for you Kiri bhai'.'

IMAGE: Yashpal Sharma with Vivian Richards. Photograph: Kind courtesy Yashpal Sharma/Twitter

The sudden passing away of Yashpal Sharma has left Syed Kirmani numb.

The former wicket-keeper-batsman said he was getting to ready to feature his former India team-mate on his YouTube channel on Tuesday evening, but, sadly, Yashpal left for his heavenly abode earlier in the day.

Yashpal's gusty innings of 61 in the semi-final against England was majorly responsible in India going on to win the 1983 World Cup, says Kirmani.

Speaking to Rediff.com's Harish Kotian, Kirmani remembers playing alongside Yashpal in 34 Test matches.

 

"Salutations to his efforts to keep the Tricolour flying high. He was a 200 percent man, committed to the honour of the country at all times.

He was a great fighter, a great team man. He was a morale booster for all of us in the team. He was the fittest and the fastest runner in the Indian team.

I can't believe he is no more because day before yesterday I had spoken to him, asking him to come on my YouTube channel. He had said, 'Anytime for you Kiri bhai'.

I was just getting in touch with my videographer and my presenter to shoot him tonight (the evening of July 13) on Zoom video chat.

Oh my god, oh my god this is not acceptable. At the same time we have to be very confident and sure of the will of the Almighty.

This is a very sad, shocking for all of us. We can only offer his family our deepest heartfelt condolences, to his wife Renu, his children and his other family members.

His innings in the 1983 World Cup semi-finals cannot be forgotten in the history of Indian cricket. He was majorly responsible for the semi-finals victory against England. He was the highest scorer in that semi-final match.

I remember that six off Bob Willis. He went all the way across outside the off-stump, flicking Willis off his toes for a six between the fine leg and the square leg region.

I would say we, the 1983 players, brought the innovation of strokes into the current era of cricketers, which they are playing nowadays in T20 cricket.

In that same semi-final against England, he got Allan Lamb run out off a direct hit at the bowler's end. Lamb could take England to victory anytime, that wicket proved to be very crucial.

It is very sad and heartbreaking to talk about him at the moment.

The 1983 team players are all like family members. We keep in touch with one another on daily basis, we inspire each other.

We formed a 1983 World Cup Whatsapp group where each one of us check on each other on a daily basis. He was the one who was the fittest among the lot. He was a livewire of the Indian team, that's the bottomline of Yash.

He was so affectionate, so loving with everyone. All the fond memories will come back now.

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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