Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Veteran India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Yuvraj last played for India in June 2017, while he featured for the Mumbai Indians in this year’s IPL, which they won.
The 37-year-old admitted that the decision to bring his international and IPL career to an end was a tough one, but added that it is time to “move on”.
“I have decided to move on,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “A very difficult and at the same time a very beautiful moment for me.
“After 25 years, in and around 22 yards, and after almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on.
“I am extremely lucky to play 400-plus games for India. I would never have imagined this when I started my career as a cricketer. It was a love-hate relationship with the sport, in retrospect. I don’t think I hated the game, because the love I have for it today, which will remain a constant till the end of [my] life. I can’t really express in words what is that feeling.
“This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust myself off and get up again and move forward. I have failed more times than I have succeeded, but I never gave up, and will never give up, till my last breath, and that’s what cricket has taught me. I gave my blood and sweat to the game once I got on to it, especially when it came to representing my country.
“The adrenaline rush, playing for India, singing the national anthem before each game, touching the Indian flag, stopping every run for the team, or scoring every run for the team, was a completely different high. To be part of history, that was made after 28 years [in 2011], I mean, honestly, what more could I ask for?”
Yuvraj admitted that winning the 2011 World Cup was one of the major highlights of his illustrious career.
However, after his incredible performances in the showpiece event, Yuvraj was diagnosed with mediastinal seminoma as a germ-cell tumour was found between his lungs.
He was out of action from February 2012 until December that year.
“As I go back in time today, my life has been like a roller-coaster ride,” Yuvraj said. “Winning the 2011 World Cup, being Man of the Series, four Man of the Match awards, was all like a dream, which was followed by a harsh reality, getting diagnosed with cancer. It was like touching the sky and then falling down at light speed and hitting the ground hard. All this happened so quickly, and that too when I was [at] the peak of my career. But in that moment, everyone to whom I mattered, stood together for me – my fans, my friends, my family.
“Probably the worst day in my career was the 2014 T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka when I scored 11 off 21 balls. It was so shattering that I felt my career was over. And I was written off by everyone to an extent that made me feel at times that it was all over. Then I took a bit of time [off] and I realised why I play cricket; it’s because I love the game. So I went back to basics and scored heavily in domestic cricket. A year and a half later, I made my comeback in T20Is for India, where I hit a six and a four in the last over against Australia in Sydney, and suddenly all the belief came right back.
“I finally made my comeback in one-day cricket after three years in Cuttack on 19th January against England in 2017. I recorded my highest one-day score of 150 in 127 balls when everybody said it was impossible. Trust me, I have never stopped believing in myself. No matter what the world said, believe in yourself because if you put your heart and soul into it, you can achieve the impossible.”
Yuvraj will also be remembered for hitting England pace bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007.
Yuvraj represented India in 40 Tests, where he scored 1,900 runs, which included three centuries and 11 fifties, at an average of 33.92. He also took nine wickets at an average of 60.77.
He also featured in 304 ODIs and accumulated 8,701 runs, which includes 14 hundreds and 52 half-centuries, at an average of 36.55. He also claimed 111 wickets at an average of 38.68.
As for his Twenty20 International career, Yuvraj amassed 1,177 runs in 58 matches, which included eight fifties, at an average of 28.02. In addition to that, he also picked up 28 wickets at an average of 17.82.