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First-ever hat-trick in a Cricket World Cup was taken by an Indian

Former Indian pacer Chetan Sharma bowled out three New Zealand batsmen in three successive deliveries on October 31, 1987, in Nagpur, becoming the first bowler to take a hat-trick in World Cup. It was the first hat-trick taken by an Indian and the first all-bowled hat-trick in international cricket. Sharma, who turns 54 today, played 23 Tests and 65 ODIs.

3rd January 2020 | 12:08 PM (IST)
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Chetan Sharma, born January 3, 1966, is a former India all-rounder who had his moments under the sun at the highest level. Despite a few memorable performances, he is more remembered for being a victim to Javed Miandad’s fateful six at Sharjah. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at the all-rounder’s career.

Sometimes, life can be cruel. Ask Chetan Sharma, the former India all-rounder. Although his career has seen highs such as the first hat-trick by an Indian in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), a century at No 4 in 1989 and a series victory in England, many remember him as the bowler who was smashed for a six off the last ball on that fateful day in Sharjah in 1986. In the 1980s, he was one India’s leading bowlers and yet, it boiled down to that one moment. But, keep that one delivery aside and you see an all-rounder who had great promise and had his moments under the sun at the highest level.

Born January 3, 1966 in Ludhiana, Chetan took to cricket at a very early age as he was under the tutelage of the famous coach Desh Prem Azad. He was in good hands as Azad had mentored the likes of Kapil Dev and Yograj Singh to name a few. Having started at an early age, Chetan made rapid strides and was a part of the North Zone under-15s side in 1980. He continued to play for various age group sides in the two years that followed. In 1982, he toured the West Indies with an Indian Schools side featuring Maninder Singh and Lakshman Sivaramakrishnan to name a few.

Chetan Sharma, born January 3, 1966, is a former India all-rounder who had his moments under the sun at the highest level. Despite a few memorable performances, he is more remembered for being a victim to Javed Miandad’s fateful six at Sharjah. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at the all-rounder’s career.

Sometimes, life can be cruel. Ask Chetan Sharma, the former India all-rounder. Although his career has seen highs such as the first hat-trick by an Indian in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), a century at No 4 in 1989 and a series victory in England, many remember him as the bowler who was smashed for a six off the last ball on that fateful day in Sharjah in 1986. In the 1980s, he was one India’s leading bowlers and yet, it boiled down to that one moment. But, keep that one delivery aside and you see an all-rounder who had great promise and had his moments under the sun at the highest level.

Born January 3, 1966 in Ludhiana, Chetan took to cricket at a very early age as he was under the tutelage of the famous coach Desh Prem Azad. He was in good hands as Azad had mentored the likes of Kapil Dev and Yograj Singh to name a few. Having started at an early age, Chetan made rapid strides and was a part of the North Zone under-15s side in 1980. He continued to play for various age group sides in the two years that followed. In 1982, he toured the West Indies with an Indian Schools side featuring Maninder Singh and Lakshman Sivaramakrishnan to name a few.

However, then dawned that moment at Sharjah. Chasing 246 to win the Austral-Asia Cup, Pakistan kept tottering and only Javed Miandad fought the battle. It all boiled down to the last over and ultimately the last ball. Needing four to win, Miandad got a full-toss from Chetan and it was carted over the ropes for six. Chetan had tried the Yorker, but it went as a juicy full-toss and was fully utilized by the batsman. The scars of that defeat were fresh for years as India struggled to beat Pakistan. Chetan bore the brunt of the public ire and it did have an effect on the 20-year-old.

Despite that, not many credit Chetan for his remarkable comeback. Although he had gone through a harrowing phase, he was back to help India win a Test series in England. At Lord’s, his fifer helped India bowl England out for 294. They ultimately won with Dilip Vengsarkar scoring a ton. He missed the second Test at Headingley, but came back for the Edgbaston Test and his 10-for completed a memorable triumph. That Test was drawn, but England had no chance of a consolation victory.

However, things changed after that as he struggled to maintain consistency in Test cricket. He took only one more fifer against West Indies at Mumbai in 1987 and by 1989, he had played his final Test at the age of 23. In ODIs he continued to deliver. The biggest highlight in 1987 was his hat-trick against New Zealand in a World Cup game at Nagpur. Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield were all bowled as India bundled out the Kiwis for 221 and then Gavaskar took over to score his only ODI ton.

Chetan had to wait for nearly two years for his next big milestone. When India hosted the Nehru Cup, India faced England at Kanpur. After the tourists put up 255, India were 2 for 65 when they decided to send in Chetan. He hadn’t scored a fifty in ODIs till then, but on that day, he sped away to 101 not out off only 96 balls as India overhauled the target with 11 balls to spare. Interestingly, he played only three more ODIs, before being shown the door from the side.

Chetan did manage two comebacks thereafter as he returned for the ODIs on the tour to South Africa in 1992 after a fantastic domestic season. His final salvo in international cricket was two years later when India hosted a tri-series with New Zealand and West Indies being the other two teams. Those comebacks were results of good performances in domestic cricket, but it didn’t amount to much on the highest stage. He then moved to Bengal in 1993 and played for them until 1996.

After his First-Class days, he played a few corporate matches and a few games for the India seniors. However, he is a known face on television and is seen airing his views on the games as an expert in numerous panels. He is one cricketer many would remember, albeit for that one ball. But, the records would show that there is a lot more to remember.

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3rd January 2020 | 12:08 PM (IST)
34 views
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