New Delhi: One performance is never suffice to encapsulate a cricketer’s lifetime contribution. But, in Yuvraj’s case, that was not so. He was the man who almost single-handedly won India the coveted World Cup trophy in 2011.
Alas, he has announced his retirement from international cricket, which he was mulling for some time. But even as he did so, he momentarily let down his guard and betrayed a sense of hurt over the manner he is making his exit.
At the press conference, Yuvraj said he was told by the team management he would get a retirement match if he cannot pass the yo-yo test to prove his fitness levels.
Yuvraj said he never asked for the farewell match and was dropped from the team after he failed to pass the test in late 2017. “They told me I will get a farewell match if I don’t pass the yo-yo test.
I told them I will walk off if I don’t pass the test,” he said, adding that he passed the test a few weeks later but was never recalled to the team. The 37-year-old said he does not want any controversy now. “India is playing the World Cup and I don’t want any controversy.
My time will come and I will then talk about everything,” he added. The writing was perhaps on the wall: In the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League, he had almost gone unsold before Mumbai Indians grabbed him at his base price. He played only four matches for the franchise scoring 98 runs with one half-century.
Rumours are rife that he might now pursue a career as a freelance cricketer in various ICC approved foreign T20 leagues.
Coming back to the highlight of his career, the 37-year-old had a dream run at the 2011 World Cup as he amassed 362 runs, including one century and four fifties.
He also picked 15 wickets, won four Man-of-the-Match awards and was also awarded the Player of the Tournament. In the process, he became the first all-rounder to score 300-plus runs and take 15 wickets in a single edition of the showpiece event.
After the World Cup, he was diagnosed with cancerous tumour in his left lung and underwent chemotherapy treatment in Boston and Indianapolis. While he did make a return to the national team post recovery, life was never the same and he became an on and off member of the Indian team.
Apart from the 2011 World Cup, another highlight in his illustrious career would be the 6 sixes he hit at the inaugural edition of the World T20 in South Africa in 2007.
In India's Super 8 match against England at Durban, he hit six sixes in an over off Stuart Broad and brought the crowd to its feet. In the process, he reached the fastest fifty ever in a T20 game, off just 12 balls, which was also the fastest in any form of international cricket.
Not to forget what the youngster did during the 2002 Natwest Trophy final at the Lord's. In what seemed a game that was there for England to win -- after India's famed top-order flopped -- Yuvraj combined with Mohammad Kaif to take the visitors home. (The visuals of a shirtless Sourav Ganguly waving the jersey from the Lord's balcony is the stuff of folklore, now).
In all, Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India in which he scored 1900, 8701 and 1177 runs respectively. Input IANS/TV 18