Cricket

I wondered at one stage if I would play another game, says Yuvraj

Key ingredients: Yuvraj Singh, set to become the fifth Indian to play 300 ODIs, stresses the importance of being consistent and persistent to come good.

Key ingredients: Yuvraj Singh, set to become the fifth Indian to play 300 ODIs, stresses the importance of being consistent and persistent to come good.  

At the start of the new millennium, Yuvraj Singh made his international debut as a fearless, precocious teenager in the ICC Knock-Out. Seventeen eventful years later, at the same tournament, he finds himself on the verge of his 300th one-day game.

“At one stage I was thinking if I was going to play another game; so yeah, I’ve come a long way,” he said at Edgbaston here on Wednesday, as India prepared to meet Bangladesh in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy.

“It’s a big achievement for me; it’s a huge honour. When I started playing, I was just happy to play one game for India. There have been ups and downs, and there is much I’ve been through, and still managed to get to 300.”

When he takes the field against Bangladesh, Yuvraj will become only the fifth Indian cricketer (and 20th overall) — after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly — to get to 300 ODIs. The feat achieves extra significance because of what Yuvraj has had to conquer off the field.

I wondered at one stage if I would play another game, says Yuvraj
 

 

“[My] biggest quality would be never to give up, keep pushing no matter what obstacles come in life. That’s what I can tell the younger guys: never back down. Keep on working the same way whether you are having a good time or a bad time. Be consistent and be persistent,” he said.

“I’d like to be seen as a fighter. A lot of people can actually get inspired, not to give up. Cancer is something which I talk about a lot. A lot of people think there’s stigma with cancer. So I can motivate a lot of people to come out of it, and to come back to where they belong.”

Yuvraj added: “To play for India is not that difficult, but to sustain it is tough. Self-belief is very important because when things are not going well for you, people have their own opinion... you need to believe that you’ve done it in the past, and you can do it again.”

Asked to name his top three innings in one-day cricket, he said: “Definitely, the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal against Australia; then my debut [batting innings] against Australia (Nairobi, 2000); and then the Natwest Trophy final in 2002.”

The 35-year-old did not want to look too far into the future. “I’ve been very blessed to come and play for India again. I have a lot of blessings of people. Let’s see how long I can [play]. As long as I’m performing and doing well, I’d like to play. Hopefully, a few more years.”

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 7:37:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/i-wondered-at-one-stage-if-i-would-play-another-game-says-yuvraj/article19050266.ece

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