To the man who taught the entire nation how to cross 6 out of 6 balls out of the park, to the man who inspired the younger generation to be brave on the field and deliver their game fearlessly, to the man who chased down or mounted the total to such an extent that during his peak form of the career targets seemed so achievable when he was with the bat on the field, to the man who knew no barriers.
Cricket is a game of Men & Women that requires utmost will and deservance. Neither every ball is going to give you a wicket or a boundary from the players’ point of view. It’s the willingness to play for the country or team that actually gives you where you want to be.
Even the test cricket is a fickle form the point the game is being understood. There are many people who through their hard work have mastered the art of playing cricket. And Yuvraj Singh being the one of those people. He’s rather well known, not only for his large female fan following, but also for his aggression on the field.
The look he wears on his face while bowling is enough to make any top-class batsman start quaking in his boots. Deny him a LBW and he’ll spit and glare. Raise the finger while he’s batting and his face will show utter disappointment and mainly, disgust. Obviously, Yuvraj Singh isn’t a man who accepts defeat.
Yuvraj Singh is a former Indian all-rounder who played as a middle-order batsman and slow left-arm orthodox spinner. Yuvi is one of the greatest limited-overs cricketer that the nation has ever produced. He was mainly noted as a big-hitter and a great athlete.
Yuvi was a great fielder and is known for some great catches and run-outs. He played for India from 2000 to 2017, a glittering career which spanned for 18 long years and made many Yuvraj Singh records. He was also the vice-captain of the ODI side between 2007 and 2008.
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Yuvraj Singh Biography
Yuvi was born in a Sikh family to parents Yograj Singh and Shabnam Singh. Yograj was also a former Indian cricketer and a Punjabi actor. During the childhood years, Yuvi was more interested in tennis and roller-skating.
He even won the National Under-14 Roller Skating Championship. But his father threw the medal away and told Yuvi to concentrate on cricket. Yuvi did his studies from DAV Public School in Chandigarh. He got his graduation degree in Commerce from DAV College, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Apart from cricket, Yuvraj has appeared as a child actor and did short roles in Mehndi Sagna Di and Putt Sardara. Yuvi wrote his autobiography which he named The Test of My Life : From Cricket to Cancer and Back. Yuvi got engaged to actress Hazel Keech on 12 November 2015 and the couple got married on 30 November 2016.
Yuvraj Singh Career
Yuvraj started his career by playing for Punjab Under-16s in November 1995-96 season against Jammu and Kashmir-16s. At that time he was just 13 years and 11 months old. His break-out performance came in the 1999 U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy Final against Bihar. While Bihar’s combined score was 357, Yuvi single-handedly scored 358.
In the 2000 U-19 World Cup, which India won, Yuvraj became the Player of the Tournament. His notable performances were 68 off 62 and 4/36 against New Zealand in group match. Another was a quickfire 58 off 25 against Australia in the semi-final.
Yuvraj made his international debut against Kenya during the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy. He only bowled in that game and in the next match against Australia, Yuvi became the Man of the Match for his 84 off 80 balls. During the 2001 Coca-Cola Cup, he made a crucial 98* against Sri Lanka.
Following some poor knocks, Yuvi returned to domestic cricket and struck 209 for North Zone against South Zone in Duleep Trophy in March 2002. As a result, Yuvi was recalled for last two match against Zimbabwe which India were trailing 1-2 in the series. Yuvi scored 80 off 60 and 75 off 52 in consecutive matches and helped India win the series 3-2.
During the 2002 Natwest Series, Yuvi won Man of the Match in the first game against England because of his 3/39 and 64*. In the final, India were struggling at 146/5 while chasing England’s 325/5. Yuvi (69 off 63) managed a 121-run partnership with Mohammad Kaif to take India home. This was India’s first win in a final of an ODI tournament since 2000 and also one of greatest ODI victories.
Yuvraj made his first ODI century (102* off 85) against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 11 April 2003. After that he was signed by Yorkshire County Cricket Club for the 2003 county season. This made him the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to play county cricket.
On 16 October 2003 against New Zealand, Yuvraj made his Test debut and scored 20 and 5* in both the innings. Yuvi scored his maiden Test century (112 off 129) against Pakistan in the tour of March-April 2004.
2007 World Twenty20 and Yuvraj Singh Six Sixes
Yuvraj was announced the vice-captain in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa. In Super 8 match against England, there was Yuvraj six sixes in an over. The event started with a verbal spat with Yuvraj Singh and Andrew Flintoff. In the very next over, Yuvi was on strike and Stuart Broad was the bowler.
Because of the altercation, there was Yuvraj six sixes in an over off Broad’s bowling. In the process, Yuvi also reached fastest fifty in a T20 off just 12 balls. In the semis against Australia, Yuvi scored 70 off 30 and also hit the longest six (119 metres or 390 feet) of the tournament.
After India won the tournament, all the players were awarded Rs. 80 lakh each by BCCI. But Yuvi received additional Rs 1 crore and a Porsche 911 from BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi. Because of his performances, Yuvi was named in the Team of the Tournament.
2011 World Cup, Cancer, Comeback and Retirement
Yuvraj’s golden period in his career was the 2011 World Cup. He was in excellent form all throughout the tournament. He scored 362 runs with the bat which included one century and four fifties. With the ball he took 15 wickets.
As a result he won four Man of the Match awards and also Player of the Tournament award. It was mainly because of Yuvraj’s heroics that India lifted their 2nd World Cup after a gap of 28 years. During the tournament, Yuvi also got his 100th ODI wicket by dismissing Wesley Barresi of Netherlands.
Before the World Cup began, Yuvi had difficulties with breathing, nausea and bouts of vomiting blood. After the tournament Yuvi was diagnosed with cancerous tumor stage-1 in his left lung. Yuvi underwent chemotherapy at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston, United States.
I still remember, it was the night after a good study session. I was relaxing just before bed and scrolling through the latest news on my phone. That’s when I saw the news – Yuvraj Singh diagnosed with cancer. Wait, what? Maybe it’s benign. No such luck. It was malignant lung cancer. That’s not possible! But it was. He was going to the USA for chemotherapy. Then over a period of ten months there were only occasional updates.
Along with that he also received treatment at the Indiana University Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, Indiana under famed oncologist Dr. Lawrence Einhorn. Throughout the process Yuvi’s mother was along with him.
Then came the match where Yuvraj was supposed to make his comeback. That match was washed out. But he finally made his comeback in the second T20 against New Zealand. He made 34 runs and took a catch. His performance throughout the World T20 was quite average.
Then came the Duleep Trophy were Yuvi scored a double century and announced his return loud and clear. He also took five wickets and made 59 runs in the warm up match with the India A team against England.
Although after getting full treatment, Yuvraj made a comeback to cricket but he was never the same like before. His notable performances were a 72 off 36 against Pakistan and a 77 off 35 against Australia.
On 5 July 2014, Yuvi played for Rest of the World XI against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s. There he scored a century at almost run-a-ball. In January 2017, Yuvi scored his career-best ODI score of 150 from 127 balls which included 21 fours and three sixes.
Yuvraj was the icon player and captain for Kings XI Punjab for the first two seasons of IPL. On 1 May 2009 and 17 May 2009, Yuvi took two hat-tricks against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers.
Yuvraj was then brought by Pune Warriors in 2011 IPL. In 2014, Royal Challengers Bangalore paid 14 crores for Yuvi and in 2015 Delhi Daredevils paid 16 crores for him. In 2017, Yuvi went to Sunrisers Hyderabad where he won the IPL trophy.
In 2018, Yuvraj once again went to Kings XI Punjab and scored only 64 runs from 7 matches at an average of 12.80. It was Yuvi’s worst IPL season in his career. He was picked by Mumbai Indians during the 2019 auction and was released ahead of the 2020 season. Apart from IPL, Yuvi was selected for Toronto Nationals in the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.
Yuvraj Singh Retirement
Yuvraj decided to hang his boots on 10 June 2019 when he decided it was time to “Move On”. He announced his retirement and recounted the best and worst memories of his career.
“I would say I am extremely lucky to play 400-plus games for India. I would’ve not imagined doing this when I started my career in cricket. Through this journey, some matches that remain in my memory are – the 2002 NatWest series final, my first Test hundred in Lahore in 2004, the 2007 Test series in England, of course the six sixes and the 2007 T20 World Cup. And then the most memorable one was the 2011 World Cup finals.”
“And then, probably the worst day in my career, was the 2014 World T20 final against Lanka where I scored 11 off 21 balls. It was so shattering that I felt my career was over.”
He also said “As for now, I have decided to provide service and help for cancer affected people.”
Yuvraj Singh Records and Honours
1. Yuvi debuted in the ICC Champions Trophy in October 2000 at the age of 18 years and 296 days. In the quarter-final against Australia, he score 84 off 80. This is Yuvraj Singh records as he is still the youngest Indian to score a half-century in ICC event at the age of 18 years 300 days.
2. Another Yuvraj Singh records is that he is the only batsman in T20Is and second batsman in international cricket to hit six sixes in an over.
3. Yuvraj also set the record of fastest fifty in T20 cricket as he smashed a half-century off just 12 balls.
4. Yuvraj Singh records also has that Yuvi is the only player in World Cup history to score more than 300 runs and take 15 wickets in a single edition.
5. Overall in his ODI career, Yuvi has an average of 33.92. However when it comes to World Cup career, he has an astonishing average of 52.71.
6. Yuvraj is India’s second-highest six-hitter in T20Is with a total of 102 sixes. He is also among the top-five of India’s six-hitters in ODIs with a total of 153 sixes.
7. Yuvraj and Dhoni made the second-highest 4th wicket partnership (256) against England. In that match Yuvi scored 150 off 127, which is his career-best in ODIs.
8. Second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to play in county cricket. Recently Cheteshwar Pujara became the third Indian to do so.
9. Yuvraj Singh records also state that Yuvi is the most expensive player in IPL history. He was purchased by Delhi Daredevils for 16 crores during the 2015 auction.
10. Yuvraj is the only player to take two hat-tricks in a single edition of IPL. The first one was against RCB (Robin Uthappa, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis). The second one was against Deccan Chargers (Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Venugopal Rao).
11. Yuvi is the first player to get a fifer and score a fifty in the same match in a World Cup. He achieved this feat in the group game against Ireland in 2011 World Cup.
12. Yuvraj got four Man of the Match awards from 9 games in 2011 World Cup. These came against Ireland, Netherlands, West Indies and Australia. This record is a joint record with Aravinda de Silva (1996) and Lance Klusener (1999).
13. Another Yuvraj Singh records is that he is the only player to get the Man of the Tournament award in both Under-19 and 50-over World Cup.
14. Yuvi was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2012 and the Padma Shri Award in 2014.
15. He received the FICCI Most Inspiring Sportsperson of the Year Award in February 2014.
16. In August 2018 Power Brands awarded Yuvraj Singh the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar for being an impact player on the field and off it, for demonstrating humility in greatness and for leading the charge in the battle against cancer, reinforcing the belief that together, YUWECAN!
Yuvraj has had many great innings throughout the first part of his career. An unforgettable one was the one on 19 September 2007 against England in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Super 8 match held at Kingsmead in Durban, when he hit 6 Sixes in an over off Stuart Broad.
This helped him reach the fastest fifty ever in a Twenty20 game, off just 12 balls and also the fastest in any form of international cricket. Yuvraj also scored 70 runs off 30 balls and went on to claim the Man of the Match against Australia in the World Twenty20 semi-finals at Durban. His exemplary performance in the World Cup 2011 made him Man of the Tournament and India lifted the World Cup for the second time since Kapil Dev.
Earlier, I mentioned that Yuvraj was never the one for accepting defeat. Never in cricket, never in his life. It’s a well-known, and an astounding fact that in the duration of the World Cup 2011, Yuvraj was rather unwell, throwing up blood along with other symptoms of lung cancer. Despite this, he played so well.
There are people on this planet that sit at home sobbing just because of a cough and cold. Here is this man, this extraordinary man who had cancer, and the other ailing’s of cancer, and despite that, continued playing well for his country.