“When it matters, you will matter the most.” When Sachin Tendulkar said these inspiring words to Yuvraj Singh during the 2011 World Cup, the legendary batsman was trying to bring out the fighter in the left-hander. Though Tendulkar had sensed that Yuvraj was not his usual self, he was not aware of the ailment.
This fact was brought out in a conversation, involving Tendulkar, Yuvraj and commentator Harsha Bhogle, organised during the launch of Yuvraj’s memoirs The Test of My Life here on Tuesday evening.
The book, priced at Rs. 399 and co-authored by Nishant Arora and Sharda Ugra, is an account of Yuvraj’s battle with cancer and his return to international cricket.
The launch, attended by the members of the Indian team, former cricketers, Board officials among others, saw players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli sharing their experiences with Yuvraj. Later, his mother Shabnam also had a few anecdotes to narrate.
Tendulkar, who launched the book, said, “I’ve always treated Yuvraj like a young brother. When I first heard of Yuvraj suffering from cancer, I was shocked. But I knew he was a fighter. When I visited him in London and we went out for dinner, I remember telling my wife, I hope I don’t breakdown in front of Yuvraj. During that time, I had mixed emotions.”
Yuvraj said, “The World Cup was missing from Sachin’s collection. So it was also a reason to win the Cup for him.”
Sehwag, as candid as ever, said, “I knew he would make a comeback, but did not think he could return so soon. Hats off to Yuvraj.”
Harbhajan said he would call Yuvraj but not talk about the disease. “I wanted to keep him in good humour so I used to recall the days and incidents of our early days in cricket. I knew what Yuvraj was going through. But I’ve always believed that laughter can help change a few things in life.”
Dhoni recalled the days when he would address Yuvraj as “aap” since he was a senior cricketer. The Indian captain conceded that he was always scared of Yuvraj’s temper. He still is.