Balvinder Sandhu

Balvinder Singh Sandhu was nothing short of shattered when he learned about Yashpal Sharma’s passing away on Tuesday morning, following a cardiac arrest.

Balvinder Singh Sandhu on missing Yashpal Sharma

Sandhu and Yashpal were room partners during the victorious 1983 World Cup campaign. When Sandhu got a message on his mobile phone, he felt the news was fake.

“I then checked the WhatsApp group of the 1983 World Cup team and it was confirmed that he is no more. I was shattered; I went numb. I was absolutely devastated. No one in our team would have imagined this.

“When we spoke last [on June 25, the anniversary of the 1983 World Cup win] he asked me to take care of my health. He was very caring. I never expected this [heart attack] to happen to him. He had the most disciplined life,” Sandhu told mid-day.

India won 1983 World Cup
India won 1983 World Cup by beating West Indies

“We have a great bonding. It’s a big joint family where every member’s family is equally important to all of us. We are all eager to watch the ’83 film. We all wanted to watch it together and enjoy it together. Now, one seat [of Yashpal] will be kept vacant. He too was eagerly looking forward to watching the movie,” said Sandhu, who also remembered Yashpal’s ‘badam shots’. That was because Yashpal ate a lot of almonds.

Former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma dies of heart attack
Former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma dies of heart attack

Sandhu said Yashpal’s positive mindset helped him during the World Cup campaign. “He used to make tea early in the morning. We had a great time together. He would remain positive all the time. “When someone says positive things in the morning, it puts you in a positive frame of mind for the day.

“We would always discuss match situations and what were our chances of qualifying for the final. It made a lot of difference especially to me as we were all the time thinking of winning matches in the World Cup. So, that helped,” he said.

Under Kapil Dev‘s captaincy, India won their first World Cup in Cricket in 1983. Which was then lifted by MS Dhoni in 2011 after a waiting of 28 years of waiting.