He used to be a dreadful fielder at a coaching camp many summers ago. He was 10 or 11. Fielding sessions would leave him embarrassed. And then he decided to improve. He did. To the extent he became one of the finest fielders and athletes on the cricket field. Yuvraj Singh's early lessons in cricket were learnt the hard way. Just as his attitude to life now after having experienced the pain and anguish of being a cancer patient.
“I am thankful to God that I got back my life. Everybody faces such issues. I will have to take care of my health. I have been through a very tough period. It has definitely been the toughest battle of my life, can't compare it with the World Cup win but playing cricket is far easier than fighting cancer,” he said in his first interaction with the media on returning home from the United States where he underwent treatment.
Starting with a “namaskaar” and “happy to be facing the Indian media after a long time,” comment, he took questions for an hour at the Yuvraj Centre of Excellence. He had answered some in the past through regular tweets. “To avoid speculation regarding my health,” he clarified. But he was very forthcoming today.
Happiness is important
A comeback to the cricket field was on his mind but not top priority. “I just want to be back. It will be a big achievement if I play cricket again. But the most important thing in life is happiness.
“Money is important, but it's important that you be happy in life. I am happy in life, I am content. Whenever I next play cricket, it will be with less stress on my mind.”
The trademark humour was subdued as Yuvraj battled fatigue. “I don't know what I would do in future. I am going to work hard. I want to wear the India cap again.”
Noted oncologist Dr. Nitesh Rohatgi assured Yuvraj had “responded well” and his progress was being “monitored” by experts. “We are glad to have him back,” gushed Dr. Rohatgi.
Yuvraj was emotional when speaking of the dreaded ailment. “Cancer has taught me a lot of things. During my chemotherapy sessions, there were some elderly patients. They inspired me. I would think, if they can be cured, why can't I. In future I would like to work and make people aware of cancer treatment.”
He gave credit to mother (Shabnam Singh) and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
“My biggest support was my mother. I don't think without her I would have made this journey. Lance was so inspiring. He is a real-life hero, a great sportsman. I stopped reading his book halfway through five-six years back. Maybe, I was destined to read it later.”
Yuvraj was evidently tired by now but sportingly took a few more questions. “Cancer is out of my system but the scar remains. In future I will definitely do something for the people.”
It was time for the interaction to end. “I just want to rest and get better,” he prayed. Hard to imagine the chirpy and restless Yuvraj being glued to the seat for an hour. But he loved it. So did the media.
Keywords: Yuvraj Singh