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Full name Ajay Kumar Sharma
Born April 3, 1964, Delhi
Current age 50 years 359 days
Major teams India, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Relation Son - Manan Sharma
|Only Test||India v West Indies at Chennai, Jan 11-15, 1988 scorecard|
|ODI debut||India v West Indies at Kolkata, Jan 2, 1988 scorecard|
|Last ODI||India v West Indies at Ahmedabad, Nov 16, 1993 scorecard|
|First-class span||1984/85 - 2000/01|
|List A span||1985/86 - 1999/00|
Ajay Sharma's career will be seen as one of disappointment. Firstly, that a man whose first-class average was the third-highest of any player to have scored 10,000 runs only played one Test; secondly, that his career ended when he was implicated in the match-fixing scandal which rocked world cricket, receiving a life ban.
His Test debut in 1987-88 was Hirwani's match, although his 30 and 23 gave every indication that he was a batsman to watch. But despite outstanding performances on the domestic circuit, another chance never came. He played 31 ODIs - for some reason becoming pigeonholed as a one-day specialist - with his left-arm spin earmarking him as an allrounder.
His last ODI was in 1993-94, when he was still not 30, but he continued to murder bowlers for Delhi. In 1999-2000 he became the Ranji Trophy's highest runscorer, and his 31 hundreds was also a record. In 1996-97 he had become only the third batsman to score 1000 runs in a Ranji Trophy season.
But in 2000, aged 36, he was banned for life after being found guilty of having associations with bookmakers. It was the final blow from an establishment that Sharma had always seemed to be at odds with. Martin Williamson
Ajay Sharma was banned for life in 2000
For 30 minutes, everything else took a backseat, as the world watched in awe and fear, a fired-up Pakistan fast bowler mercilessly bullying an Australian batsman
As a six-year-old, he watched Wasim Akram at the 1992 World Cup and decided that he would be a left-arm fast bowler. As a man, he put on a show very nearly as memorable as Wasim's 23 years before
The SCG might be India's preferred semi-final venue at this World Cup, but persistent rain in the lead-up has left them worried their spinners may not get the help they are widely expected to
This contest brings together a belligerent bunch of brats and braggers from two countries that are so different, yet share rampant egotism and a high opinion of themselves
Over the last few months, he has slowly moved from a flashy finisher, to a more measured risk manager
India's Plan A in this World Cup had worked flawlessly over seven matches. When they came up against the toughest opponents in the World Cup, however, they were left scrambling for a back-up plan
It was Grant Elliott and New Zealand's time in Auckland. Not South Africa's. But the Proteas will leave this tournament wondering when that will ever change. Maybe next time.