Helping Us Be World T20 Champs, Never Playing For India Again And Becoming A DSP - The Story Of Joginder Sharma
It was September 24, 2007. India and Pakistan were facing off in the final of the first ever World T20. The Pakistanis needed 13 off the last over and had one wicket in hand. But Misbah-ul-Haq had the strike and was looking in control of the situation. At that point our newly-appointed limited overs skipper MS Dhoni did the unthinkable. No, he did not opt for his more experienced bowlers, but threw the ball to Joginder Sharma. Yes, a new guy who was relatively unknown in the international circuit.
Joginder knew it was make or break. He would either be a hero or be known as the man who made India lose. He ran in with his medium pace as Misbah took strike looking for a big hit. It never came. The first ball was a wide, 12 from 6, but the one after that beat the batsman. Misbah swung, missed. 12 needed from 5 and Joginder ran in again. This time Misbah connected and the ball sailed into the stands. 6 from 4 and the tension mounted.
More drama followed. Joginder bowled a length ball and Misbah looked to scoop it over the leg side for at least a four if not a six. But sadly, the pace or rather the lack of it proved to be Misbah's undoing as the ball only gained height. Sreesanth set himself underneath the ball and took the catch easily. That was it! We had won. India were the champions of this new format. Dhoni was starting a new eraand Joginder was an overnight sensation.
So it has been over 12 years since that famous day. India went on to win the World Cup, Champions Trophy and became No. 1 in Tests. Now, Dhoni is in the twilight of his career and Virat Kohli, a man who was yet to play back then, is leading the side. Thus the obvious question is, where is Joginder?
Well believe it or not, the final vs Pakistan in 2007 was the last international game Joginder ever played. No, we are not kidding. He was part of the CSK franchise in the IPL, but he never played for India again after that.
So what is he doing now? Well believe it or not he is posted as a DSP in Hisar, Haryana. How did that happen? Well, thanks to his feat, the Haryana Government gave him a job in the police department. He rose through the ranks and now is in his current position. He has definitely earned it.
Be it fate or lack of consistency at domestic level, Joginder was never picked to play in the national side. But the man has no regrets as he has worked hard to be where he is. The police job keeps him grounded. But that does not mean he has forgotten the game. In fact he does play when he gets the chance even when in uniform.
12 years ago, he was part of history. Now he is serving his country in another way. Whether he has the ball in hand or a policeman's responsibility on his shoulders, Joginder performs his duties the only way he knows how, with diligence and sincerity.