Yuvraj – the name itself defines the character of the person i.e. prince. But Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh is a step further than what his name actually denotes. He is not just a Yuvraj but a Maharaja of world cricket and also a source of inspiration for millions.
Born in Chandigarh, Yuvraj never had much interest for cricket in his childhood and preferred playing tennis and roller skating. He had won the Under-14 National Roller Skating Championship, to which his father reacted angrily and threw away the trophy. His father, Yograj Singh was a former international cricketer and wasn’t much successful. Yograj was very harsh on Yuvraj and forced him to play cricket. He wanted to live his dream through his son. He himself used to coach Yuvraj and involve him in rigorous training sessions. He used to splash water on Yuvraj even on chilly mornings to wake him up for the practice sessions. Yograj had built a cement-pitch in his home and used to subject Yuvraj into constant practice under lights. He used to fire balls on him at a very fast pace in order to make his batting strong. Once Yograj threw a glass of milk at Yuvraj after learning that he was dismissed in a practice match after playing a very bad shot. The glass fortunately missed Yuvraj’s head!
Life was never easy for Yuvraj. He was only 15 when his parents got divorced. He faced a lot of hardships. He got out for zero in his debut Ranji match after which he was shattered. Once, when his father took him to Navjot Singh Sidhu, he said that Yuvraj didn’t had in him and would never be a successful cricketer. Also when he was selected for a series, he had jaundice the very next day.
His fortunes changed soon and he came into limelight when he emerged as ‘Man of the Series’ in the 1999 Under-19 World Cup for his all round performance which got him an Indian cap. Since then, the cricketing world witnessed one of the finest modern day left hand batsman in form of Yuvraj Singh. Who can forget his six 6’s against Stuart Broad in the 2007 T20 World Cup! His mercurial all round performance in the 2011 ODI World Cup earned India glory and cricket’s most prestigous trophy after 28 years.
However, destiny had something else in store for Yuvraj! When India was cruising in the 2011 World Cup towards the glory, a (15x11x13) cm giant tumour was growing within him squeezing a lung and artery. In the process of winning back to back man of the matches, he started feeling uneasy at times with constant breathlesness and throwing up. He kept ignoring it. Soon after the World Cup, came a shocking announcent that he had been diagnosed with a germ cell cancer. He underwent three sessions of chemotherapy. It was all very tough for him and dealt with a lot of stress. The doctors told him that he could have died of a heart attack, had it not been diagnosed. But he was not about to give up! His tremendous passion and winning spirit led him to the recovery and he defeated the disease.
Soon, he was back in the international cricket in September 2012 and was conferred with the Arjuna Award. He was also awarded Padma Shri in 2014. He also went on to become the highest paid player in IPL, snatching a $2.5 million contract. Yuvraj also established a foundation, ‘YouWeCan’ inspired by legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong, to fight cancer by spreading awareness about the fatal disease. He recently financed more than 100 cancer treatments in the country.
The Admirable India community salutes the brave warrior – Yuvraj Singh. His story is every bit inspirational. He is a living and breathing testament of the fact that cancer is not the end of life. His battle is a true inspiration to the millions of peope who are hoping to beat the odds and come out stronger.
Post by: Jaywant Zala
A must read: The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back