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Yuvraj Singh: A fighter and a champion

Monday, June 10, 2019 • Tamil Sport News Comments

Yuvraj Singh: A fighter and a champion

At a press conference in Mumbai earlier today, legendary all-rounder and 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from international cricket. He made his debut in the ICC Champions Trophy in Kenya in 2000 and decided to end his international career which spanned 19 years.

“A very difficult and at the same time a very beautiful moment for me. After 25 years, in and around 22 yards, and after almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything and is the reason why I stand here today. I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,” Yuvraj announced while addressing the media.

In his international debut against Australia in the ICC KnockOut Trophy in Kenya, Yuvraj scored 84 off 80 balls, making a crucial contribution towards the team’s victory. Yuvraj also played a key role in helping India lift its second World Cup trophy in 2011, where he scored 362 runs in eight innings, including four fifties and a century. He also took 15 wickets in 9 matches, making him the second highest wicket-keeper then following Zaheer Khan.

Not much later, the all-rounder was diagnosed with mediastinal seminoma, a germ-cell tumor located between his two lungs. After undergoing chemotherapy for a few months, he made his international comeback in a T20 match against New Zealand in September just before the World T20 tournament.

“As I go back in time today, my life has been like a roller-coaster ride. Winning the 2011 World Cup, being Man of the Series, four Man of the Match awards, was all like a dream, which was followed by a harsh reality, getting diagnosed with cancer. It was like touching the sky and then falling down at light speed and hitting the ground hard. All this happened so quickly, and that too when I was (at) the peak of my career. But at that moment, everyone to whom I mattered, stood together for me - my fans, my friends, my family,” Yuvraj further went on.

One of his major career highlights includes his six consecutive sixes in a single over against England’s Stuart Broad during the inaugural World T20 in South Africa, following it up with a match-winning 70 against Australia in the semi-finals, leading India to the historic title win. In the 2002 NatWest series, he hit a 69 off 63 balls, sharing a 121-run partnership with Mohammed Kaif, guiding the team to victory following the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid.

Yuvraj was bestowed with the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award by the Government of India, in 2012. In 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. At the 2014 IPL auction, the Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him for an all-time high price of Rs. 14 crore, and in 2015, the Delhi Daredevils bought him for Rs. 16 crore, making him the most expensive player ever to be sold in the Indian Premier League.

The legendary batsman scored 8701 runs from 304 ODIs with an average of 36.55, including 14 centuries and 52 fifties. In the 40 Tests he played, he scored 1900 runs with an average of 33.92, including three centuries, and in his 58 T20Is, he recorded 1177 runs at a 28.02 average with 8 fifties.

Yuvraj last represented India in June 2017 against the West Indies. His heroic innings during the initial years, his inspiring comeback after the cancer treatment in 2012, and his never-give-up attitude make him an appropriate role-model not just for aspiring cricketers, but for an entire generation of the country.

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