“It’s shocking, just amazing. I just met him in Gurgaon at an event to celebrate the anniversary of our 83 World Cup triumph. He looked the fittest of them all. I thought that he would live 100 years! He was a strict vegetarian, and never used to drink or smoke. He told me he only had soup for dinner these days and that “He had cut down on his rice intake. He had a controlled diet. He was a strong guy, basically a fitness freak,” former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar told YOU.
“When we were touring England, a lot of his friends and fans offered him vegetarian dabba (tiffin), as vegetarian food was hardly available in England at the time,” he added.
With Vengsarkar, Sharma had set up a 122-game partnership for the fourth wicket against Pakistan on the last day of a test at Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi against Pakistan in 1979. After point guard Sikander Bakht took eight. for 69 to send India crashing for just 126 in the opening innings, the hosts rebounded by scoring 364 for six in their second recovery, just 26 points off their goal of 390 in the fourth inning. Vengsarkar went undefeated with 146, while Yashpal scored 61.
“At the start of the last day of this test, we were on the verge of losing this match against Asif Iqbal’s team. However, due to a great partnership between me and Yashpal, we almost won the match! We had to settle for a draw after losing a few wickets, including that of Yashpal, ”he recalls.
Former Indian fashion designer Balwinder Singh Sandhu also appeared extremely moved by Sharma’s passing. “What bad news to get in the morning! I met him last week at this ’83 event. He was worried about my health! He told me to control my weight. He seemed to be fine. absolutely fine. It is so shocking that he is no more, “Sandhu told this newspaper.
Recalling the memories of that triumphant race, which stunned world cricket, Sandhu said: “He was my roommate the whole World Cup (in England). We were called ‘Roomie’. We have so many memories, we have had a great time together. Sandeep Patil and I used to pull his leg while having fun. Our 83 team are like family. I can’t believe he’s gone. It’s shocking and devastating to me. I never imagined something like this could ever happen to her. ”
Sandhu felt Sharma did not get credit for her role in India’s stunning World Cup victory despite scoring 89 in the opening game against a dreaded West Indies attack, then half a century in the semifinals against England. “I still think he didn’t get the kind of media credit he deserved for his role in India’s World Cup victory. He had contributed across all departments of the game in this tournament. scored points and lined up well, making exits and taking good catches. He used to crush the ball from a long distance – we called it the “badam shot.” I called it the badam because he ate a lot of badams (almonds). He was a very solid guy. He played his role to perfection in this tournament. He was enthusiastic all the time about doing something special in the World Cup.
Sadly, Sharma passed away before he could watch ’83 – a film based on India’s famous cricket victory, which was delayed due to the pandemic. “He wanted to watch this movie so much. We made this actor work hard for this role,” said Sandhu. He said Sharma seemed happy with life. “One of his daughters is in the United States and the youngest became a doctor, and he was so proud and happy to have grandchildren,” he said.