Age shouldn’t be a factor while selecting the national team, says Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj has not played for India since July 2017.

Yuvraj Singh wants to feature in 2019 World Cup | Getty

Out of favor India batsman Yuvraj Singh, who is currently struggling to pass his fitness Test, has expressed his desire to feature in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The veteran left-hander also cited that age shouldn’t be a factor while picking the national team and also lauded the selectors for giving chances to players like Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel for their stellar domestic performances.  

“I am looking forward to it,” Yuvraj told Sportstar when asked about his ambition to play in the next World Cup, scheduled to be held in England in 2019.

“I will give lot of credit to the current set of selectors for this (picking the domestic performers). Their focus is on those who are performing in domestic cricket. It does not matter if he has played for India or not. Age is not a factor, performance is. If you perform well throughout the season you will be picked.

“Parthiv and Dinesh were overlooked in the past even when they were performing exceedingly well in domestic cricket. Now they are getting their chances. Dinesh has been an exceptional performer and needlessly age was held against him. To reward consistency is the best thing, and also please remember that some players perform better after they become 30. Not everyone matures early,” he added.

Former India cricketers such as Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh have been quite vocal about the financial security of domestic cricketers. On being asked about the same issue, Yuvi said: "It has changed drastically from the time I started. To begin with, the match fee for the players has gone up, and that is good. Now with the Indian Premier League, good domestic players are paid fabulously — but not all. For example, Cheteshwar Pujara, who is one of our best Test players, does not get picked by any team in the IPL. This kind of situation does not give a sense of security. We must give a sense of security to a player like Pujara."

The 36-year-old also put forward an idea to the cricket board to sort out this issue. The southpaw suggested the BCCI to classify the domestic players in different categories.

“We need to focus on the domestic players and identify them for different categories — India or India ‘A’. It can’t be India, India ‘A’ and then the domestic players. All your best players are going to come from domestic cricket and India under-19. The associations need to nurture them and take care of their needs in terms of financial security. Give them more and more matches to play. This year I thought the Punjab team was not prepared because it did not play many local tournaments. You want the senior team to be professionally prepared when it comes to travel and itinerary. So, why not the same for domestic players? They should get good recovery time when playing domestic cricket. They are our bench strength,” Yuvraj explained.

Yuvraj, who has not played for India since July 2017, also admitted that it is very difficult motive yourself while going through the grind in domestic cricket where the matches are played in empty stadiums.

“It is very hard because the motivational levels drop a lot. For someone like me, motivation comes from within and not necessarily from the spectators. I am discovering this because I have had to start my cricket again, literally from scratch; I am going through the grind of domestic cricket,” he said.

“You do like the applause from the galleries but the motivation has to come from within. Let me also tell you that it is not always easy playing in front of some of the spectators we encounter at different venues. I was able to make a comeback only because I did not miss the chance to play domestic cricket,” concluded Yuvraj.


By Salman Anjum - 12 Feb, 2018

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