Chetan Sharma is remembered for that fateful six off the last ball at Sharjah © Getty Images
By Taus Rizvi
A Google search on former India cricketer Chetan Sharma will lead to a series of articles on the famous last-ball six that Pakistan’s Javed Miandad hit offthe fast bowler in the Australasia Cup final in Sharjah on April 18, 1986, leading to India’s defeat.
It is more than 28 years ago when the attempted yorker ended up as a full toss and is still etched in the minds of old timers. There have been many similar incidents over the years, the most recent being Shahid Afridi smashing India off-spinner R Ashwin for two sixes to enter the Asia Cup final, reviving the old memories.
However, nothing can match Miandad hitting Sharma over the ropes when Pakistan needed four off the last ball, chasing India’s 245 to win the title. Sharma has not been able to overcome the moment that made him famous (or infamous). Not that he wants to remember, but people are not letting him forget that incident. Even the mention of Sharjah, one of the venues of the first leg of IPL-7 in the UAE, will rekindle the last-ball six memories.
“Whoever meets me for the first time, the first question that comes is about the last-ball six that Javed Miandad hit me for. It keeps happening. I have even started enjoying it now. Even when I am on the air doing commentary, I am reminded of the same as if it had happened recently,” Sharma, who is in Mumbai, told dna on Sunday. But does he feel irritated when people keep asking about the incident? “This keeps happening. I want to forget but people don’t let me do it as they keep asking. So, I am left with little choice. I tried my best to york Miandad and not give a loose delivery but it turned out to be a full toss. Javed was the best batsman and he hit it over the boundary,” he said.
On the other hand, Sharma enjoys the attention. “Badnaami main bhi naam hai (So what if you are infamous, you are still famous). God chose to make me famous like this, then I have no option. I don’t get irritated any more with the questions,” added Sharma. Talking about yesteryear cricket, Sharma said: “There have been many similar incidents recently. But how many remember them. Even R Ashwin was thrashed by Afridi in the last over of Asia Cup, but people don’t remember that. During our time, passion was at a different level. Especially when India played Pakistan. It was played in high intensity because our cricket calendar was hardly packed like it is today. So people would look forward to India games and remember big moments,” said Sharma, who also became the first bowler in the history of World Cup to take a hat-trick, the feat coming against New Zealand in 1987.
Sharma is planning to bring out a book on that famous last-ball six. “Yes, I am planning to launch a book, Life after six. Read the rest in that book,” he said.
(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)