Yuvraj Singh, the player-of-the-tournament in India’s triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign, announced his retirement from the game on Monday in Mumbai.
Yuvraj said, “After 25 years in and around the 22 yards and almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust off, to get up again and move forward.”
“Winning the 2011 World Cup, being the man of the series, four MoM awards was all like a dream, which was followed with a harsh reality of getting diagnosed with cancer,” reminisced Yuvraj.
“All this happened so quickly and that too when I was at the peak of my career. It was like touching the sky and then falling down at light speed and hitting the ground hard. All this happened so quickly,” he said.
“I felt most pressured when I was making a comeback after having recovered from cancer because that was the time when everyone thought that I may not be the same player again and I had to prove them wrong,” he said.
“I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket. It was a love-hate relationship with this game. I can’t explain what it really means to me. This game taught me to fight. I have failed more times than I succeeded and I will never give up,” Yuvraj added.
The player also talked about how he had declined the “farewell game” offer last year, instead making himself available for selection.
“I was told that if you are not able to pass the Yo-Yo test, I would get a farewell game. I did not tell anyone in the BCCI that I have to play the last match,” he said.
“If I was good enough, I would have retired on the ground. I don’t like to ask for a game, I have never played the game with that mindset, so I told them I don’t want a farewell game, if I don’t clear the Yo-Yo test, I will quietly head back home. I cleared the test and then, rest is not my call.”
“I want to play T20 cricket. At this age I can manage to play some kind of fun cricket. It’s been too stressful just thinking about my international career, performing in big tournaments like the IPL,” Yuvraj said.
“I am sure my time will come to speak and I don’t want to be in that space where I have retired at the World Cup time… I have retired because I want to move on with my life and I am sure my time will come to talk about these things,” Yuvraj said.
Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India. He put together 1900 runs in the longest format, and 8701 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.