Yuvraj Singh (born 12 December 1981) is an Indian cricketer, and the son of former Indian fast bowler and Punjabi movie star Yograj Singh. Yuvraj is aleft-hand middle-order batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He has been a member of the Indian cricket team in ODIs since 2000.He started his career as a part of the Under 19 Indian cricket team.
The 2000 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup was played in Sri Lanka in January 2000. In all, 16 sides competed in the tournament with India running out eventual winners, defeating Sri Lanka in the final by 6 wickets. Yuvraj Singh was named Player of the Tournament. India clinched the title for the first time under the captaincy of Mohammed Kaif. Future international players that featured in the tournament were Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Ajay Ratra, Venugopal Rao and Reetinder Sodhi.
Soon after the under-19 world cup, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif had started playing for the Indian national team almost at the same time and together strenghtened the middle order for the senior Indian team. Together they had helped win many matches for India. One of the most famous wins that India had with the help of these two players was the Natwest series against England in 2002. Yuvraj alone has also come to India’s rescue countless number of times.
He played his first Test match in 2003. He was the vice-captain of the ODI team from late-2007 to late-2008. On 19 September 2007 against England in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Super 8 match held at Kingsmead in Durban, he famously hit six sixes in an over against England’s Stuart Broad — a feat performed only three times previously in any form of senior cricket, and previously never in an international match between two Test cricket nations. This helped him to reach the fastest fifty ever in a Twenty20 game, off just 12 balls and also the fastest in any form of international cricket. He had also hit the longest six of that tournament: 119 metres (390 ft) off Australian bowler Brett Lee.Yuvraj was awarded a Porsche 911 for his 6 sixes achievement by the then Vice President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Lalit Modi. He was named the Man of the Tournament in the 2011 Cricket World Cup and was one of the top performers at the 2007 World Twenty20, both of which India won. He is also the first Indian player to cross 100 Sixes in Twenty 20 matches.
He was the icon player and captain for Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab in the first two seasons; in 2010, the third season, icon player status was abolished and the captaincy given to Kumar Sangakkara. They came second in the round robin phase of the tournament, but lost their semi-final to the Chennai Super Kings. On 1 May 2009, Yuvraj picked up his first hat-trick in T20 cricket against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kingsmead in Durban, the same ground where he hit his six sixes. He dismissed Robin Uthappa, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis. On 17 May 2009, Yuvraj picked up his second
Twenty20 hat-trick against Deccan Chargers at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Yuvraj dismissed Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Venugopal Rao. The Pune Warriors were a new team introduced for the 2011 IPL. Yuvraj Singh was bought by the team and chosen as captain. Pune Warriors finished ninth, ahead of only the Delhi Daredevils. From 14 matches, Yuvraj scored 343 runs at an average of 34.30, including two half-centuries. After much controversy BCCI has allowed Pune Warriors to have his replacement for 2012 Indian Premier League, citing his medical condition and nonavailability for 2012 IPL due to the same.
In 2011, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor (stage-I) in his left lung. What followed was grim battle with a rare germ cell cancer and underwent months of chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston, USA as well as Medicine Facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana. As soon as this news came, Yuvraj Singh’s family and cricket fans all over India started to pray for the dashing left hand batsmen. People from all spheres of life be it politicians or sportstars wished him speedy recovery. In March 2012, he was discharged from hospital after completing the third and final cycle of chemotherapy and returned to India in April. He was conferred with Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award in the year 2012 by the President of India.
Out of all the innumerable achievements of this great man, his six sixes and his battle against cancer will be added to the biography of Yuvraj Singh, if penned someday, in golden ink.
Yuvraj during his battle with cancer looked up to Lance Armstrong, also a cancer survivor, while undergoing treatment in the US. The legendary cyclist also visited Yuvraj in Boston where the cricketer was undergoing treatment.
In his autobiography, It’s not about the bike, Lance Armstrong starts off by saying that he wanted to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on his back and the star of Texas on his helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour. But little did he know that in the year of 1996, he’d be diagnosed with cancer. He was just 25 then. All his hopes came crashing down that very instant and people understandably expected an abrupt end to a promising career. But two years later, not only did Armstrong successfully fight the biggest battle of his life, but his existence became an inspiration to millions of people worldwide as he staged a comeback and won one of the most grueling cycling events in the form of Tour de France.
It’s no surprise then that return to international cricket of Yuvraj Singh, after successfully fighting a rare germ cell cancer, is reminiscent of Armstrong’s return to the international arena. In fact, Yuvraj received tremendous support from Armstrong, when the former was recuperating after undergoing three strenuous cycles of chemotherapy. That inspiration, provided by Armstrong, certainly seems to have helped, as the man is back on the centrestage, quicker than anyone would’ve expected.
Yuvraj, by his own admission, drew inspiration from Armstrong’s autobiography. The hardships Armstrong had to endure during his fight against cancer were unparalleled, and being a sportsman, things became all the more complicated for him. The money that was riding on him was gone, and there was a danger of the sponsors pulling out sooner than later. To live through all such constrictions, especially when you’re fighting cancer on one hand, is a bloodcurdling experience. Yuvraj is fortunate to have received a constant dose of motivation by none other than another sportsman who’s been in a similar position before.
Yuvraj made his international comeback in the second of the 2 Twenty20 matches in September against New Zealand (first match was a washout) shortly before the 2012 World Twenty20. The Stadium had erupted in frenzy night as the poster boy of Indian cricket Yuvraj Singh stepped on to the field after overcoming his battle against cancer. Before the detection of cancer, his last appearance was in a Test match against West Indies in Kolkata in November 2011.
With cancer now a thing of past, he was overweight after treatment. Just hours before the comeback match against New Zealand, Yuvraj said he is getting restless before stepping on to the field. The loudest cheer was however reserved when Yuvraj came out to bat at fall of Suresh Raina’s wicket. There was a determined look on his face as he strode confidently towards the crease with the Chepauk crowd giving him a standing ovation. After defending the first delivery, he tapped one behind square to get off the mark which eased his nerves. With Virat Kohli in blazing form, it helped Yuvraj get into the groove. After a couple with a steer past point, he got a thickish edge past first slip that raced to the boundary. The smile on the face of his mother Shabnam Singh said it all. To find her son get back to where he belongs is the greatest satisfaction for a mother and it was written large on Yuvraj’s
mother’s face. When asked about how did she feel, she replied that there were only silver linings all around, adding further that the t-shirts that their group would wear the next day for the game would be blue with tag line ‘ YouWe-Can’ referring to the Yuvi’s recently launched cancer foundation, an initiative which is dedicated to raise cancer-awareness among masses.
Latest cricket news from India is that Yuvraj Singh Foundation will be supporting this initiative by spreading awareness about Cancer and how to fight it in early stages. Yuvraj Singh during the ceremony said, “The journey from being a part of the World Cup-winning team to fighting for my life has indeed been full of emotions. I was faced with the biggest high of witnessing India lift the World Cup and the shock of suffering from cancer, both at nearly the same time. Having experienced cancer personally, I can totally empathize with the pain and difficulties faced by a cancer patient and thus we have launched
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