Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has decided to come out of retirement after a request from the Punjab Cricket Association Secretary Puneet Bali in order to help out the young Punjab team in the upcoming domestic cricket season.
However this return will also disallow Yuvraj Singh from signing on for foreign T20 leagues, something he did after announcing his retirement last year and playing in the Global T20 League Canada and Abu Dhabi T10 League. He was also reportedly looking for a BBL deal in the upcoming season.
"I will obviously have to concentrate on Punjab. In any case, I can't play the foreign leagues according to BCCI rules and I don't mind it. My priority is to help Punjab," Yuvraj told Sportstar.
The delay in the start of the 2020-21 Indian domestic season sees only the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and the Ranji Trophy are scheduled for men in a curtailed calendar. Yuvraj Singh said he wants to help Punjab win the domestic T20 title and mentor youngsters in the upcoming season before taking a call on his future.
In July, Yuvraj had spent time with youngsters, including the likes of Shubman Gill, Anmolpreet Singh, Abhishek Sharma, and Harpreet Brar, at a training camp organized for the Punjab side.
"I and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) made every effort to help Punjab win a title. It was hard work for both of us but things did not work. I was also not motivated to continue playing and that prompted me to retire. I was not happy when I retired. I was sick of not getting opportunities,” Yuvraj said.
However, working with the young guns from Punjab has seemingly changed his mind and Yuvraj wants to give it one more shot at winning Punjab a title.
“I started nets regularly and also played matches with the boys. I had looked at coaching and mentoring them even as I played more of tennis and golf to stay fit,” added Yuvraj.
The 2011 World Cup winner said that he consulted his mother (Shabnam Singh) and wife (Hazel Keech) after receiving the offer from PCA secretary Puneet Bali.
“Initially I was reluctant to accept the PCA offer but then I wanted to play again. The feel of the bat was so good. It brought back some fond memories. I was hitting a few sixes in the matches and that is what I loved always, hitting sixes. I picked the bat, hit some sixes, and decided I will play T20 format which suits my game more now,” he said.
Admitting that he was “excited” at returning to the cricket field, Yuvraj said, “You can’t play cricket all your life but T20 is a brand you can play till 45. I will give myself one season and take a call. I will be a coach, mentor, and a player. I want to do it for Punjab. It has given me so much.”