It would have been a 36-year-old World Cup drought by now for Team India had a name called Yuvraj Singh not featured in the score sheets for the Indian Cricket Team. Such has been the impact of this individual that the Indian team can now boast of one T20 World Cup triumph and two ODI World Cup trophies.
A glittering career arc
It was in 1994 that a 12-year-old Yuvi first picked up his bat and after almost 25 years, the legend has announced his retirement from international cricket on June 10th, 2018. In a press conference held at Mumbai, the stylish left-hander announced his decision to move on thereby bringing down the curtains on a glittering career.
Yuvi broke into the scene as an impressive left-handed batsman in the U19 World Cup. He then made inroads into the Indian Cricket Team and once he helped India reach the finals of ICC’s Knockout Trophy in 2000, there was no looking back for the player. Since then, he has only produced moments that every fan of Indian cricket can be grateful for.
In 2002, India was still not considered as a potent force outside the subcontinent. However, the NatWest series had gone pretty decent despite a number of controversies. The finale of this tournament was about to decide the winner of the NatWest series and chasing a mammoth target, the backbone of Indian batting was back in the hut with plenty of runs yet to be made. Stitching on a wonderful partnership with his U19 teammate Mohammed Kaif, Yuvi scored a brilliant 69* which eventually helped India cross the line. It was a famous win for India and a star was born.
3 innings from Yuvi’s bat which defined Indian cricket
Cut to 2007, Yuvi had been in indifferent form until he was picked to the first ever edition of the T20 World Cup. The first few games were not easy for the talented player and in a must-win game against England, Yuvraj Singh pulled off one of the greatest moments ever in the history of the game. Smacking Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in an over, Yuvi made a quick-fire half-century and helped Team India qualify into the knockouts. He was then brilliant against the Australian team in the knockouts and thus, became a crucial reason for our country to lift the trophy.
2011 was the year that changed Yuvi’s status from a star to a legend. In the kind of form, he was in, many felt it was risky to include Yuvraj Singh in the squad for the World Cup. However, a few days later, on April 2nd in Mumbai, Yuvraj Singh picked up the Man-of-the-series award of the 2011 World Cup thereby writing one of the greatest stories in the game. 5 wicket-hauls, centuries and half-centuries, Yuvi contributed in almost every possible way to help India lift the trophy. However, batting with almost half the team gone, his fighting knock of 57 runs against Australia in a knockout game would be remembered for a very long time.
Yuvraj Singh is a pure entertainer on and off the field and on his day, he made sure balls would fly across the park and make every penny of the ticket worth for the spectator. It was indeed a shock when this gentleman, whom we saw so much and loved on the field, was diagnosed with a rare tumor. Yuvraj fought the disease and came back on the field wearing the blue shirt a few months later in one of the most inspiring comeback stories in life.
However, it is not a goodbye for Yuvi from the game as the player has expressed his wish to participate in ICC approved overseas T20 leagues. Yuvraj Singh still has plenty to offer to Indian cricket with his experience in the game and all we can do now is wish Yuvi luck for his second innings.