Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh believes that the culture in the dressing rooms has changed in recent times. The World Cup winner recalled that wasn't always the case before.
At an event with Viacom18 Sports in Mumbai for the launch of South Africa's new franchise league SA20, the former all-rounder was present alongside his former teammate, Anil Kumble.
When asked about how the culture in modern-day cricket has evolved as compared to when he came into the dressing room as a youngster with legends like Kumble, Yuvraj said:
"After 20 years, I still have to be careful about what I say in front of him (Kumble). I think it was a bit of a shock, to be honest. There's Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar, and the likes of Ganguly [in the dressing room]. There are all these guys you're watching on television as a kid and straightaway, you were in the dressing room with them. You had to ask the coach to not have a chair next to them."
Yuvraj Singh made his debut for the Indian side as a teenager at the ICC Knockouts 2000. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Anil Kumble were in the side that was led by Sourav Ganguly. He went on to be a vital cog of the Indian white-ball team and a legend, with the T20 World Cup and World Cup titles in his cabinet.
"The IPL has made the youngsters more comfortable around the players" - Yuvraj Singh
The former Indian all-rounder stated that it would be odd to sit next to the senior players during his early days. Yuvraj also added that he would sometimes ask the coaches not to make him sit alongside the senior players. He said:
"The coach used to say they're your teammates so you have to sit next to them. So, it took a while to start talking to them. But what the IPL has done is that the youngsters are now more comfortable around the players."
However, the former cricketer credited franchise leagues around the world, like the Indian Premier League, for changing that dynamic. He mentioned that the SA20 would help young South African players do the same and backed the league to be a success.