Remember Joginder Sharma, who bowled the last over in the ICC T-20 World Cup final against Pakistan in 2007? It was the inaugural World T20 final between India and Pakistan in 2007. Misbah-ul-Haq had just clubbed Harbhajan Singh for three sixes. Pakistan required 13 runs from the final over with one wicket in hand. After a lot of deliberation, skipper M. S. Dhoni took a gamble: He handed the ball to Joginder Sharma.
Joginder started with a wide. Then, Misbah got underneath a full toss and muscled a massive six before missing the next ball, which was pitched well outside off stump. On the next delivery, the Wanderers crowd exploded as S. Sreesanth, at short fine leg, comfortably held on to a looping Misbah paddle shot. It was a move, which worked in MS Dhoni’s favour, as India won the epic match by 5 runs.
Joginder Sharma is a former Indian cricketer, who is a right-arm medium fast bowler and a right-handed batsman.
Hailing from Rohtak, Haryana a city which is famous for Wrestling and kabaddi.
Sharma gained national attention in a match for India A against the national team at Bangalore, when he dismissed Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman and Yuvraj Singh. He also played for the Rest of India side, which defeated Mumbai in the Irani Trophy.
Joginder sharma made his first-class debut for Haryana against Madhya Pradesh in the 2002/03 Ranji Trophy. The allrounder from Rohtak made an impression in his first match for Haryana by scoring 81 runs and taking 11 wickets. Sharma finished his debut season with 24 wickets at 17.41 and 280 runs at 46.66. The selectors rewarded his domestic performances by selecting him for the Bangladesh tour in 2004. He remained not out on 5 as India won the match by 11 runs. He bowled 8 overs in match and was economical, took a wicket and conceded just 28 runs.
His form dipped as the series progressed and his stats read 1/99 in bowling and 34 runs while batting. Thus, he was dropped after that series without nothing to show on the cards.
Jogindar ended the Ranji Trophy 2004-05 season with 36 wickets, the second highest at 15.47 and 472 runs at 52.00. In 2005/06, he topped the Duleep Trophy bowling averages too. A national call up is also there in waiting and he knew that this would may be his last shot.
He was selected for the 2007 ICC World T20 and bowled the final overs in the semi-finals and the finals. He conceded just 6 runs in the last over of the semi-finals against Australia and took wickets of Hussey and Lee.
In the finals, after conceding a six it looked like MS Dhoni has made a wrong choice by not opting for Harbhajan Singh. But Joginder Sharma took the last wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq and led India to their maiden T20 World Cup title.
Joginder never played another T20 International match after the 2007 World T20 final, but was a regular member of the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and played a total of 16 games for them. He has played four ODIs and four T20Is for India. In first class cricket the all-rounder has scored 2804 runs and bagged 297 wickets in 77 appearances.
In November 2011, he met with a career-threatening car accident, where he suffered severe head injuries. However, he recovered well from that incidence.
The allrounder got a cash reward of Rs. 21 lakhs Indian Rupees from the Haryana Government for his exploits in the T20 World Cup and also earned him a job as a Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP) in the Haryana Police Department. If the World T20 success gave Joginder Sharma the status of a sporting hero, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has made the World Cup winner a front-line warrior in the battle against the pandemic. Sharma recently came in for much praise when it emerged that he was doing his bit as a police officer in ensuring people stayed at home during the Covid-19 lockdown in India. He is currently posted in Hisar district of Haryana.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also hailed India’s cricketer-turned cop Joginder Sharma for doing his bit in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “In his post-cricket career as a policeman, India’s Joginder Sharma is among those doing their bit amid a global health crisis,” the ICC tweeted on March 28 along with Joginder’s photos as a cricketer and cop.
From cricketing to policing, it has been a veritable leap from one world to another. Since then he has been enjoying his life as a Deputy Superintendent of Police. It seems Joginder Sharma has reserved the last few pages of his biography to fill up about his exploits in the Police department!
BY PARAMDEEP RATHEE