It’s been over a year since India’s star all-rounder hung his boots and bid adieu to the game which made him the heart-throb of entire nation. Yuvraj Singh was a household name, just like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are today. The former Punjab batsman would single-handedly win matches for India, even in the most difficult circumstances.
The winner of two World Cups was coughing blood while giving it his all for the nation in 2011 World Cup. The southpaw batted, fielded, bowled and all of them superbly to make sure that the golden trophy comes home after 28 long years. Yuvraj Singh was adjudged Man-of-the-Series for his performance but as fate had it, he was diagnosed with cancer just after lifting the cup.
Yuvraj Singh surely made a roaring comeback, scored his highest ODI score but could never cement his place permanently in the squad. After a long wait and after being ignored by selectors time and again, Yuvraj ended his glittery career on June 10, 2019. The Chandigarh-born played 304 ODIs, 58 T20Is and 40 Test matches for India.
After his retirement Yuvraj has featured in some foreign leagues. The swashbuckling batsman featured in Global T20 Canada and then in Abu Dhabi T20 league. Yuvraj scored 44 runs from 5 matches in Canada T20 league, while he aggregated 153 runs from 6 matches of Abu Dhabu T10 league.
In a recent conversation with Gaurav Kapur, Yuvraj Singh had revealed that he retired from cricket as the sport was not giving him the desired mental help. The 38-year-old added that he felt free after his retirement and could also sleep peacefully which he hadn’t over the years.
“When you are at a fast pace in life you don’t realise a lot of things and suddenly you are like what has happened here and I am sitting here at home for 2-3 months, obviously for different reason. I have got to a stage when cricket was not helping me mentally, I always wanted to play cricket but it was not helping me in a good state of mind. I was dragging myself and thinking ‘when do I have to retire, should I retire, should I not retire, should I play for another season’.
“I miss the game sometime but more often I do not miss it because I have played for so many years. I get so many messages for fans, so much love that I feel really blessed. More than anything the respect the game has given you, and if you are happy with that respect you have earned for the last 20 years I think it’s the right time to move on. So, I think the day I retired I was free, it was a very emotional moment, I can’t put that in word but certainly I feel free after that, mentally very happy. I hadn’t slept since many years and I tried to sleep really well,” Yuvraj Singh said.
The former batsman, who has 8,701 runs in his ODI career, said that playing in foreign leagues was fun. Yuvraj on lighter note said that the pace of the game was increasing but he was slowing down with his age. Yuvraj Singh also talked about Zaheer Khan and pulled his legs saying that the former pacer would field for only 5 overs in Abu Dhabi T10 league. Yuvraj Singh admitted that age had taken a toll over his quality of cricket.
“I have played some international leagues and had quite some fun. Played in Canada and first time playing in front of the Punjabi community. The Punjabi I learnt from people in the stands in Canada, I think I learnt more about Punjabi. Yes, Toronto is the biggest city in Punjab (jokingly), for a second I didn’t feel like I was not in Punjab, just amazing.
“After that we played T10 matches in Abu Dhabi. The age is getting slow and games are getting faster. I was like ‘this format is very difficult’. in T20 you get at least 8-10 balls to settle but in T10 league there is a pressure even after the first 2 dot ball, you have to swing your bat on the third ball. Zaheer Khan used to field 5 overs per match. He said I will field for 5 overs, I will bowl 2 overs but don’t call me for batting. Once I dive on the field it doesn’t take 2-4 guys to pick me up but it definitely takes 2-4 minutes to get back on my feet. It’s the age brother. The mind is there but the body is not,” Yuvraj Singh added.