Yuvraj Singh, a former Indian international cricketer, is marked in golden letters in the history of Indian cricket. As an all-rounder, he showcased his left-handed batting and slow left-arm orthodox bowling that generates achievements including winning 7 Player of the Series awards in ODI cricket, and he held the joint 3rd highest spot with Sourav Ganguly. One of his most memorable moments was during the 2007 T20 WC, where he hits 6 sixes in an over bowled by Stuart Broad. He set the record for the fastest fifty in T20 Internationals, leaving an awe-inspiring legacy. Amidst his cricketing glory, Yuvraj faced a horrible nightmare in 2011 – Cancer. Battling a cancerous tumor in his left lung, he underwent chemotherapy treatment in Boston and Indianapolis, displaying immense courage and determination. Despite the challenges, Yuvraj made a remarkable comeback in 2012, receiving recognition like the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri. His passion and dedication inspired millions worldwide with his unbeatable spirit.
Early Life on Cricketing Career
Yuvraj Singh’s father recognized his cricketing potential, encouraging him to focus on the game despite success in tennis and roller skating(Winner of National Under-14 Roller Skating Championship).
Starting off his cricket journey with Punjab Under-16s at the tender age of 13 years and 11 months in the 1995–96 season. His talent and progress earned him a promotion to Punjab Under-19s, where he notched an impressive 137 not out against Himachal Pradesh Under-19s in 1996–97. Despite a duck in his first-class debut during the 1997–98 Ranji Trophy, Yuvraj’s breakthrough came in the 1999 Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy Final, where he single-handedly made 358 runs against Bihar. He earned a spot for India in the Under-19 series against Sri Lanka where in the 3rd ODI he scored 89 runs from 55 balls. In the 1999-2000 Ranji Trophy also, he scored 149 against Haryana. His outstanding display in the 2000 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, including 58 off 25 balls against Australia in the semifinal, and 68 off 62 and 4/36 against New Zealand in a group stage game, gave him Player of the Tournament award and also an opportunity for the national squad.
Yuvraj’s National Debut
Yuvraj Singh’s international cricket journey began with the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy after his impressive performances in the Under-19 team. Debuted In the quarterfinal against Kenya, and couldn’t impact much but
against Australia, Yuvraj’s exceptional innings of 84 runs against formidable bowlers like Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, and Jason Gillespie earned him the Man of the Match award, contributing to India’s victory by 20 runs. He continued to make an impact, scoring 41 and taking 1/15 in the semifinal against South Africa. Despite India’s loss to New Zealand in the final, Yuvraj’s talent was transparent. Following some ups and downs, Yuvraj made a strong comeback during the 2001 Coca-Cola Cup in Sri Lanka, scoring a crucial unbeaten 98* against Sri Lanka. His performances fluctuated, but his superb batting in the 2nd ODI 80 off just 60 balls, taking India to a five-wicket win with the MOM award, and in the final ODI against Zimbabwe showcased his potential as he scored 75 runs to help India win the series 3-2.
Yuvraj Singh was essential to India’s success in the NatWest triangular series in England. In the first match against England at Lord’s, he displayed an all-round performance, taking 3/39 and scoring an unbeaten 64*, guiding India to a successful run-chase of 271. Yuvraj continued to shine in the next game against Sri Lanka, contributing 31 runs and forming a vital 60-run partnership with Mohammad Kaif. He played vital knocks throughout the series, aiding India’s victories against Sri Lanka and England, leading them to the final. In the championship match against England, Yuvraj partnered with Kaif to construct a pivotal 121-run stand for the sixth wicket, with his 69 off 63 balls being instrumental in India’s thrilling two-wicket triumph with three balls to spare. This momentous victory broke a streak of nine consecutive ODI final defeats, securing its place as one of India’s greatest achievements in ODI cricket.
Ups and Downs
In 2002, Yuvraj Singh showed glimpses of his talent during the ICC Champions Trophy, scoring 62 in the semifinal against South Africa. He faced a form slump during the ODI series against West Indies and New Zealand, but he made a significant impact during the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Yuvraj’s maiden ODI century(102* from 85 balls) came against Bangladesh, and he played vital innings against England and Pakistan, setting up wins for India. After signing with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, he made his Test debut against New Zealand in 2003. Yuvraj found success with his bat during the tri-series against Australia and Zimbabwe in 2004, including He scored 314 runs from 8 innings at an average of 39.25 with his second ODI century(139 from 122 balls, against Australia). He also impressed during India’s Test series against Pakistan, scoring a century (112 from 129 deliveries with 15 fours and two sixes) and a fifty(59). Though he performed low in form later in the year, Yuvraj remained a consistent part of the Indian ODI squad.
During the period of July to August 2005, Yuvraj Singh showcased his exceptional batting prowess in several cricket series. In the Indian Oil Cup triangular series held in Sri Lanka, Yuvraj emerged as India’s leading run-scorer, amassing 192 runs in four matches with an impressive average of 48. Notably, he achieved his third ODI century, an excellent 110 runs from 114 balls, against the West Indies in Colombo, which helped him to get the man of the match title. Subsequently, in the Videocon Cup triangular series, Yuvraj continued his stellar form, averaging 54 and scoring 216 runs in five matches. His crucial knock of 120 runs in the final round-robin match against Zimbabwe helped India successfully chase down a target of 251, earning him the Man of the Match award once again. Yuvraj’s consistent performances throughout the series showcased his immense talent as a batsman and a valuable asset to the Indian cricket team.
During the ODI World Cup 2007, Yuvraj showcases his talent, including an explosive innings of 83 off just 46 balls against Bermuda. However, India’s early exit from the tournament left a hint of dissatisfaction.
2007 T20 Heroics
Yuvraj Singh’s impact on the cricketing world during the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 was nothing short of extraordinary. As the vice-captain of the Indian squad, he etched his name in history by hitting six consecutive sixes off Stuart Broad in an over during the Super 8 match against England at Durban. With a score of half century in just 12 balls, this accomplishment set a record for all international cricket and became the fastest fifty ever in a T20 match. Yuvraj’s incredible innings of 58 runs off 16 balls earned him the Man of the Match award. He continued his brilliance in the semifinal against Australia, scoring 70 off 30 balls and striking the longest six of the tournament, a colossal 119 meters off Brett Lee’s bowling. India win the match, and Yuvraj once again claimed the man of the match title. His magnificent performances come to an end with India’s victory in the T20 WC debut year ’07, and Yuvraj’s contributions were recognized with numerous recognition, including being named in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ by Cricinfo.
2011 WC Win & Cancer
In the unforgettable 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Yuvraj Singh showcased an exceptional all-round performance, etching his name in history. He became the first all-rounder to record 300+ runs and 15 wickets in one World Cup with 362 runs, including a 100 and four 50s. Yuvraj’s brilliance earned him four Man of the Match awards, matching the record set by legends Aravinda de Silva, Lance Klusener, and Rohit Sharma. He continued his outstanding performance to become the first player to take five wickets and score fifty runs in a World Cup game which was against Ireland. However, amid his outstanding achievements, Yuvraj battled respiratory difficulties, leading to a harrowing diagnosis of a cancerous stage-1 tumor in his left lung after the World Cup. Undeterred, he underwent chemotherapy treatment and showed immense courage during his recovery. Yuvraj was honored for his outstanding contributions, and his inclusion in the World ODI XI and the 2011 World Cup’s “Team of the Tournament” by the ICC and Cricinfo helped to establish his status as a genuine cricket legend.
In 2011, Yuvraj Singh’s life took an unexpected turn when a Russian doctor detected cancer. After completing three cycles of chemotherapy, he returned to India in April 2012, showing signs of remission. He was selected for the 2012 T20 WC in Sri Lanka due to his diligence in his comeback, and he performed as the Top wicket-taker for India but didn’t play well with Bat. Subsequently, Yuvraj played in the Test series against England but faced challenges in maintaining form. However, in September 2013, he made a successful return to India’s limited-overs squad against Australia. Yuvraj collected 77 runs off of 35 balls. At 100 for 4 in the 12th over, India needed to score over 12 runs per over to win, but Yuvraj and Dhoni’s unbroken 102-run partnership carried India to victory. But inconsistency affected his ODI performances. Despite his commitment and passion, he wasn’t selected for India’s 2015 Cricket World Cup squad. Nonetheless, His love for the game and continuous effort in his play which is an inspiration to many, even during his cancer treatment, when he said, “Even if I die, let India win the World Cup.”
IPL career through out the years
Yuvraj Singh’s journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL) was one filled with ups and downs. As the icon player and captain of Kings XI Punjab in the first two seasons, his leadership and performances were remarkable. His iconic hat-tricks in 2009 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers further solidified his status as a T20 sensation. However, controversies and medical concerns led to his departure from Pune Warriors and a subsequent move to Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had a successful year with RCB(bought at 14 crores on 2014), scoring 376 runs and taking six wickets .In 2015 , He was purchased by Delhi Daredevils for 16 crores, which at the time was the largest bid ever placed during an IPL auction , but didn’t performed well . Eventually, he found success with Sunrisers Hyderabad, playing important roles in their victorious 2016 IPL campaign. Despite subsequent stints with different teams like Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, and Mumbai Indians, Yuvraj’s IPL journey remains a mix of memorable moments and missed opportunities.
Farewell to the illustrious career
June 2019, Indian cricket legend Yuvraj Singh bid farewell to his illustrious international career, announcing his retirement from all formats of the game during a press conference in Mumbai. Reflecting on his remarkable journey, Yuvraj expressed his gratitude for his best to worst memories
“I would say I am so extremely lucky to play 400+ games for India. I would not imagine this when I have started my career in cricket. Through this journey, some matches that remain in my memory are – the 2002 NatWest series final, my first Test 100 in Lahore in 2004, the 2007 Test series in England, of course, the 6 Sixes, and the 2007 T20 World Cup. And then most of the memorable one was that 2011 World Cup final.”
“And then, probably the worst day in my career was that 2014 World T20 final against Lanka where I scored 11 off 21 balls. So It was shattering that I felt my career was over.”
Also, He said, “As for now, I have decided to provide service and help for people affected by cancer.”
Yuvraj Singh, a cricket legend from India, showcased extraordinary prowess on the field. Known for his powerful batting and incredible fielding, he played an important role in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup victories, leaving a golden mark on the sport. His inspiring battle against cancer further solidified his status as a true champion.