Yuvraj Singh: The Man, the Myth, the Legend
Every once in a lifetime, there comes along a player, who goes beyond the usual 'defined' perimeters of the game, and changes it for the better. For India, there have been many, but none quite like Yuvraj Singh, who on June 10th 2019 formally announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.
He was a 'man of moments' sort of a player, standing up to the task in hand whether it was the NatWest Series final in 2002, or smashing six sixes off a single over in the 2007 T20 World Cup off Stuart Broad's bowling. If there is one player who has done and achieved close to everything in his cricketing career, it has to be the squash-buckling, six-smashing, match-winning Yuvraj Singh.
His career was one which witnessed challenges both on and off-field, but just like a champion would do, Yuvraj never quit and kept fighting back. Fans of cricket can never forget his innings against West Indies in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and his entire journey in that tournament, wherein he battled cancer with all his might and went on to give India and his personal hero, Sachin Tendulkar, a 'World Cup triumph'.
A match-winner in every sense of the word, Yuvraj Singh has given India his everything, and in the process played a massive role in the 2007 T20 World Cup, and the 2011 Cricket World Cup victories. The 6 ft 2 left-hander from Chandigarh has had an exceptional career, and remained an over-looming threat for opposition bowlers, but not anymore.
Having played 304 ODIs for India across a 17-year long career, Yuvraj Singh has called time on his sparkling career with more than 8700 international runs with a healthy strike rate of 88. It was under his captaincy that India won their first-ever Under-19 World Cup.
Yuvraj Singh's name was reminiscent with the Kings XI Punjab franchise and despite trying his best; they didn't end up winning the tournament under his captaincy. With the reputation he earned, Yuvraj Singh became the most-expensive player to be ever sold in the IPL, when Delhi Daredevils bought him for a whopping ₹ 16 crore. It was in 2016, when Yuvraj Singh got his hands on the IPL trophy for the first time in his career as part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad.
Picked to play for the Mumbai Indians for IPL 2019, maybe it was destiny or something, that Yuvraj Singh ended his IPL career on a winning note, and that too, under the tutelage of Sachin Tendulkar.
Yuvraj Singh's decision to hang his boots is much more of an emotion for those Indian fans for whom the Sourav Ganguly led-Team India became a ray of hope to achieve anything in life, a source of joy and elation.
It was then that cricket became a religion for most fans, one that had come about and was loved dearly. He was the last of the 'Old Guard' and with him gone, Indian cricket will not be the same.
A true embodiment of the spirit of 'never give up, never surrender', Yuvraj Singh was one of India's best LOI cricketers, one who fought whatever life threw at him and ended up winning hearts every single time, and will continue to be an inspiration.