One of Yuvraj Singh’s pillars during his journey from cricket to cancer and back, Sachin Tendulkar Monday thanked the southpaw for all he has ‘done for the sport’.
Walking into international sunset after ramping up the swagger and style quotient of what used to be a sombre Indian dressing room for 17 years, Yuvraj was flooded with wholesome praise by the cricket community, with close friend-cum-mentor Tendulkar leading the way.
One of Yuvraj’s career highlights is the pivotal roles he played in India winning the ODI Cricket World Cup 2011 and the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007.
The former all-rounder was named player of the tournament at the 2011 World Cup as he scored a century and four fifties for an aggregate of 362 runs, besides grabbing 15 wickets. During the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa, he smashed six sixes in an over off England’s Stuart Broad in a crucial league match.
‘What a fantastic career you have had Yuvi. You have come out as a true champ everytime the team needed you. The fight you put up through all the ups & downs, on & off the field ,is just amazing. Best of luck for your 2nd innings & thanks for all that you have done for cricket,’ Tendulkar tweeted.
The icon’s words of appreciation for the 37-year-old southpaw once again brought to the fore the cherished friendship that they share. A delighted Yuvraj carried Tendulkar on his shoulders after they helped India to a World Cup triumph in 2011, together realising their long-cherished dream.
The moment of triumph was followed by the shocking revelation that Yuvraj was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer.
The 37-year-old was diagnosed with mediastinal seminoma, a germ-cell tumour located between his two lungs, immediately after the 2011 World Cup, but made a return to international cricket and also established a cancer foundation.
Tendulkar had once said he was scared of breaking down in front of Yuvraj when they met in London after his treatment for a rare germ cell cancer in the United States.
“When I saw my wife discussing medical terms with Yuvraj, I realised what he had been going through,” Tendulkar had said at the release of Yuvraj’s book The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back. “When I went to meet him in London, I was telling my wife that I don’t want to break down when I see him,” Tendulkar had said then of the discussion with his doctor wife.
In his heart, Yuvraj has only reverence for Tendulkar. Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India. He put together 1,900 runs in the longest format, and 8,701 in the one-dayers, the format in which he enjoyed most success. His one-day runs tally places him 22nd in the overall list, and seventh among Indians. A useful left-arm spinner, Yuvraj picked up 111 ODI wickets at an average of 36.55.
FOR OVERSEAS T20 LEAGUES
The just-retired Yuvraj Singh is likely to get the BCCI’s permission to play T20 leagues around the world but he has not yet formally written to the board seeking its nod. Yuvraj expressed a desire to play overseas leagues for ‘fun’.
“He has not yet written to the board and once he does that, then only we can consider his case. But since he will not be playing the IPL, there is little ground for not giving him the permission. Retired players of his stature have been allowed to play outside India,” a BCCI official told PTI.
The BCCI has barred active players from taking part in overseas T20 leagues and that is one of the reasons Yuvraj considered retirement to make himself available for competitions around the world.
Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, who had retired from international cricket, were allowed to be part of the T10 League in the UAE.
“If Sehwag can play overseas after retirement, I don’t see an issue with Yuvraj doing the same. He is a retired player now and his contribution to Indian cricket is immense and should be valued always,” said another BCCI official.