Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from all forms of the sport with his career spanning over 17 years. The all-rounder announced his decision to part ways with the sport during a press briefing in Mumbai.
Yuvraj Singh, who remained a part of the backbone of the Indian middle order since the start of the century, played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for the country. Moreover, he was part of franchises such as Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
The southpaw’s finest moments include his feat of hitting six sixes off Stuart Broad in the 2007 T20 World Cup as well as winning the Man Of The Tournament during India’s victorious campaign in the 2011 World Cup.
Here is what Yuvraj had to say on his decision to retire:
“A very difficult and at the same time a very beautiful moment for me,” Yuvraj said. “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.
“I am extremely lucky to play 400-plus games for India. I would never have imagined this when I started my career as a cricketer. It was a love-hate relationship with the sport, in retrospect. I don’t think I hated the game, because the love I have for it today, which will remain a constant till the end of [my] life. I can’t really express in words what is that feeling.
“This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust myself off and get up again and move forward. I have failed more times than I have succeeded, but I never gave up, and will never give up, till my last breath, and that’s what cricket has taught me. I gave my blood and sweat to the game once I got on to it, especially when it came to representing my country.
“The adrenaline rush, playing for India, singing the national anthem before each game, touching the Indian flag, stopping every run for the team, or scoring every run for the team, was a completely different high. To be part of history, that was made after 28 years [in 2011], I mean, honestly, what more could I ask for?”
While arguably during the peak of his career, Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with lung cancer which impacted his career. Despite making comebacks in the form of multiple patchy stints, it was evident that the beloved Yuvi was never the same again.
Yuvraj happened to mention the highs and lows of his career, with especially emphasizing his innings of 11 off 21 in the finals of the 2014 T20 World Cup that cost India the title. He stated:
“Probably the worst day in my career was the 2014 T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka when I scored 11 off 21 balls. It was so shattering that I felt my career was over. And I was written off by everyone to an extent that made me feel at times that it was all over. Then I took a bit of time [off] and I realized why I play cricket; it’s because I love the game. So I went back to basics and scored heavily in domestic cricket. A year and a half later, I made my comeback in T20Is for India, where I hit a six and a four in the last over against Australia in Sydney, and suddenly all the belief came right back.
We all thank Yuvraj Singh for his immense and vital contributions for the Indian national team over the years and this truly marks the end of an era. Wishing the Prince Of Punjab, a happy retirement.