Yuvraj Singh, India’s hero in the 2011 World Cup, has said the New Year has given him fresh hopes of getting back to the dominant form that typified his class before he was forced to take a break for treatment of cancer.

While the world took a different view of the disgraced former American cyclist Lance Armstrong, Yuvraj said he still idolised the former Tour de France winner for the way he came back from the dreaded claws of cancer. “The year 2013 will be very interesting for me as it will prove whether I can get back my old form. The previous year was the most difficult phase of my life as I recovered from cancer and got back to playing cricket. That was really a proud moment,” said Yuvraj, while announcing a tie-up between his organisation Youwecan and Apollo Hospitals for cancer-screening initiative, here on Wednesday.

“The year 2011 was crucial for Indian cricket and also for me as we won the World Cup. But the joy of winning the Cup was also doused by the detection of cancer,” he said.

“I have read everything that happened to Armstrong’s career in newspapers. I sent a message to him saying that he will always be my hero no matter what the world says about him. For me he is a hero in the way he fought cancer and came back to achieve so much,” Yuvraj said. “You see superheroes in fiction but he is a real hero for me,” he said.

Yuvraj termed Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from ODIs a “very sad” event. “Not seeing Sachin in the ODI dressing room is a sad thing. There is no doubt that a great player is gone. There is no point in discussing what he has achieved. It will take a full year to finish,” he said. “He (Sachin) was someone whom I looked upon as an elder brother. He was a great inspiration to me,” Yuvraj said about the lasting impression the ‘Little Master’ had on him.

About his own mission to battle cancer, Yuvraj said being able to do that makes him a happy man.