Yuvraj Singh, a winner of two World Cup titles who overcame cancer and a drop in form to fight his way back into India’s national side, announced on Monday that he is retiring from cricket.
“It was a great roller coaster ride and beautiful story but it has to come to an end. It was the right time to go,” the 37-year-old left-hand batsman told a press conference in Mumbai.
At his peak, Yuvraj was a rip-roaring batsman. He hit 14 centuries in one-day internationals and bludgeoned England´s Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over at the 2007 World T20.
“I have been playing international cricket on and off for 17 years. Now it is time to say goodbye,” he said, at times fighting back tears as he made the announcement.
“Cricket has given me everything and that´s why I am standing here,” he said.
India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh revealed that he was terrified every time legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar bowled at him.
Yuvraj made the revelation just a day after he announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While he faced some of the best bowlers the sport has ever seen, Yuvraj conceded that he was always frightened when batting against Shoaib Akhtar.
Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes that India hasn’t “produced a more elegant batsman than Yuvraj Singh”.
Akhtar also called Yuvraj “a very good friend” and reminisced about the first time they played against each other.
“A rock-star, a match winner, a great junior and a very good friend of mine, Yuvraj has retired from international cricket,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by India Today.
“I remember for the first time I played against him in 2003 in Centurion during the World Cup where he played a beautiful knock… I went to him and talked to him. I was deeply impressed by his in-depth knowledge of the game.
He was a great cricketer, a great friend and a very patriotic Indian. He always wanted to win games for India and whenever he used to come to bat lower down the order, we always felt it was important to get him out or else he could take the game away.
“I wish him best of luck for the future. He is a TV product and I know he will do a lot of work on the small screen.”
As quoted by ESPNcricinfo, Akhtar also said: “You have been a great friend and a great younger brother. Now quickly go and have two kids. This is more important now because you haven’t had kids yet. Earlier you used to feed the bowlers, now it’s time to feed your kids.”