An open letter to Yuvraj Singh
Dear Yuvraj Singh,
While the majority of fans are beginning to bid you adieu and have started thanking you for your contribution to Indian cricket, I have not reached that stage just yet. And it’s not because I don’t think you deserve it. No, not at all. It’s only because I know for a fact that you are not done yet, and it’s not yet time for your swansong.
Yes, I do concede that I was worried watching you bat in the Duleep Trophy. Just like any other fan, I had my doubts about your future in the bigger scheme of things. Thankfully, that didn’t last long as the much-needed turnaround came in the Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh where you notched up 177.
The fighter that you are, it did not stop there. You went on to achieve your highest ever career score of 260 in the subsequent match against Baroda and followed it up with a composed 85 in the previous game against Uttar Pradesh. It’s just a matter of time you get to make another mark on the big stage.
People have constantly written you off, right from the beginning of your career. Honestly, I have lost count of the number of occasions you’ve had to prove your critics wrong.
When I was just eight years old, I watched you stage the most incredible comeback against England in the Natwest Series final along with Mohammed Kaif. As India struggled at 146-5 with the main crop of the line-up dismissed, the majority of fans switched off their T.V and went to bed. Unfortunately for those fans and fortunately for the country, you proved them wrong. And that was the first of many times that you did so.
That is the day I fell in love with your batting and your fighting spirit. Your ability to perform on the big stage was brought to our notice on that day, and there was no turning back after that.
A few years later, as the inaugural World T20 approached, critics were sure that you would not perform well after not being named the captain. There were rumours about a tiff with the newly named captain MS Dhoni, and thus those critics predicted your downfall.
Instead, you provided us with a memory of a lifetime; you created history by smashing Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over, and followed it up with a match-winning performance against the tournament favourites Australia.
Just like a single malt scotch gets better with age, your batting became better and more refined as you grew older. You made the whole world fall at your feet with your performance in the 2011 World Cup, and you lived up to your name of being a big match performer by delivering when it was needed.
The entire nation prayed for you when you were diagnosed with cancer shortly after the World Cup win, but for you, it was just another loose delivery. And just as is the norm, you smashed it out of the park.
Despite garnering a lot of respect after winning your battle with cancer, you never lost your doubters. People predicted the end of your career, but your immense fighting spirit was further epitomised as you made a comeback and continued to be an asset to the national team.
A few series later and you were dropped from the team again, and the same hullabaloo continued. Proving people wrong became a habit for you, right? The statement came when you made a comeback into the World T20 side earlier this year after a one-year layoff. Unfortunately though, you were not able to light the tournament on fire due to an ill-fated injury.
And thus, your haters were back. “Yuvraj’s time is done”, “Yuvraj should just retire and stop trying to extend his career.” As people continue to make these baseless statements, you continue to shut them up with your performances in the domestic circuit.
You’ve made it back to the Indian team after fighting cancer. You’ve fought the biggest battle of them all. To make another comeback into the Indian team should be a walk in the park for a fighter like you.
As you continue your quest to bring glory to Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, I’m sure another chance to don the Indian blue or white is waiting for you on the other side. I for one cannot wait for the day when I get to watch you sit down on one knee and hoick the ball for a six over mid-wicket.
Your biggest fan