Retired from international cricket last Monday (June 10), Yuvraj Singh recalled his astonishing rise to become the "Player-of-the-tournament" in India's historic 2011 World Cup triumph and the major fall from those highs that he faced afterwards having to fight a long painful battle with cancer.
"To get that diagnosis of cancer – you’re at the peak of your career, you’re 29 or 30 years old, you’re at the top of the mountain with the 2011 World Cup, you can’t ask for more. And then it dropped from the sky. You think these things can never happen to you, but that’s life. It shows you that you’re a normal human being," he told firstpost in an interview.
Although, Yuvraj, the survivor, had another major setback awaiting him in 2014 when his 21-ball 11 in the final of that year's T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka in Mirpur received genuine criticism from all corners, especially with India going on to lose the game following a winning streak towards the summit-clash.
"It was a tough time in my career. I was playing the T20 in Bangladesh and I was dropped from the one-day side. My form was patchy and things were not going my way. But one day before I scored 60 against Australia from 40 balls and I thought I was playing really well."
"But suddenly this game where I was not able to connect, I was missing, I was not even getting out. Obviously, there’s a credit to Sir Lanka for bowling really well, but I just couldn’t hit the ball. I remember getting a lot of flak, and that was curtains drawn for me I thought," he said.
Yuvraj was dropped from the national side after that innings.
"It was disappointing for me to disappoint so many fans around the world. But after all that I took a bit of time and I realised why I play the game. I play the game because I love it."
The Southpaw didn't give up, however. He worked extremely hard over his fitness and game at the domestic level for next two years and finally made his way back into the T20I and ODI sides, featuring in the 2016 T20 World Cup and following year's Champions Trophy. He played his last game for the country against West Indies in July 2017.
"I remember playing a T20 game against Australia chasing about 200, and I had just come back after a year and a half, and I was about 7 runs off 11 balls. All those thoughts were in my head that I’m in a position where I’m not able to hit."
"And suddenly I remember hitting a four and a six off Andrew Tye, and we scored 17 runs off the last over, and I remember hitting a boundary off the last ball, and suddenly the belief came back. It’s been always up and down for me,” he says with a laugh. But those highs and lows have delivered so much entertainment," Yuvraj concluded.