Whenever India’s World T20 2007 triumph comes in our mind one man strikes our mind is that of Joginder Sharma. On September 24, 2007, on the day of first World T20 final at New Wanderers, Johannesburg between two arch nemesis India and Pakistan Men in Blue captain MS Dhoni winning the toss decided to bat first. Gautam Gambhir scored 75 that helped India to score competitive 157.
Pakistan chasing the score lost a couple of quick wickets and lost the plot. India were in total control of the match until Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq launched an onslaught with Sohail Tanveer’s cameo which carried Pakistan to the brink of victory. They had one wicket in hand and needed 12 runs off the last over.
It was expected that Dhoni would ask experienced bloke Harbhajan Singh to bowl the last over. But, surprising everyone Mahi opted to slow medium pacer, Joginder Sharma. Dhoni possibly took a cue of Misbah’s ability to smash the spinners asked Joginder Sharma to finish off the job.
Joginder Sharma was also surprised by Dhoni’s decision. He was nervous, Dhoni told him to bowl the over without any tension as the former would take the responsibility if the team lose the match, Joginder recounted.
Off the first delivery, Misbah-ul-Haq launched a big shot over the long on boundary and next ball was wide and no run came from the second delivery. When Joginder delivered the third delivery Pakistan captain did not play the ball with the straight bat, he tried scoop shot. But, he mistimed it and S. Sreesanth ran to short fine leg and grabbed the catch. India emerged champion, Misbah-u-Haq was shattered by his wrong shot selection.
Joginder ended the match with two wickets haul in 3.3 overs and conceded 20 runs. He is also regarded as MS Dhoni’s lucky charm as the former gave Dhoni the first ICC trophy.
Joginder Sharma has become an eternal hero and has become a prat India-Pakistan cricket folklore.
But, the hero of that final today stays far away from cricket. He suffered an accident and return to the domestic cricket for Haryana, but was overlooked by selectors as Indian team was filled with many young talents. His fortune never accompanied him. He suffered a second life-threatening accident, as a result, he had to leave cricket forever. Now, eight and half years later he is settled as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Haryana. His life after the accident has become “toughest phase of his life”.
Sharma now spends time playing the role of DSP and is totally unrecognisable from his cricketing days. He has also gone through police drills.
Now, the former cricketer and the hero of India’s 2007 World T20 triumph will be on duty when India will play their matches.
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