Cricketing legend Yuvraj Singh tells us about the highlights of his personal journey and career, his experiences as a doting dad, new pursuits, and what it takes to win in life.
By ANANYA BAHL
Hail to Team India!
Playing for my country was one of my biggest dreams and I’m so proud to have been a part of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup win! It takes immense dedication and hard work to reach the top. And you can see that even today in the performance of every single member of Team India. The squad has been performing exceedingly well and all departments have come together as a solid unit. Our strengths lie in our talented players and the diverse skill set each one brings to the table. I feel that the team is moving forward very strategically. It’s only up and up from here.
The Sensational Six Sixes
Some moments are just etched in time. During that World Cup Twenty20 match against England, I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that just a few weeks earlier, I had been on the receiving end of five sixes from former English all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas in a one-day international match. So, a the time, bowler Stuart Broad (whose over it was) faced the after-effects of the interaction between Flintoff and I. When I hit the sixth six, I glanced at Freddie (Flintoff), but my second look was directed at Dimitri, who flashed a smile my way. To this day, Stuart Broad and I share light-hearted banter about that unforgettable match. His dad Chris Broad was a match referee, and he approached me the next day, saying, “You almost ended my son’s career, and now you need to sign a shirt for him.” And I did!
Tough People Last
Staying motivated through tough times is a challenge. Life has a habit of knocking us down in one way or the other. However, I feel each one of us has the power to get back up on our feet every time this happens. I realised this during my battle with cancer. Those were difficult days. But I was inspired by Lance Armstrong and his foundation that was helping other cancer fighters. The key is to stay focused on your goals, maintain a positive attitude, and believe in yourself. My advice is to keep pushing forward, as every setback is a set-up for a comeback. In moments of weakness or misery, just refuse to give up, no matter what!
The Inspirational Factor
I am very humbled to know that my journey has become a source of inspiration for others. I feel an individual does not become great alone, rather, it is the support and positive influence of those around them that add to their greatness. In my life, I have been lucky to have such support from my seniors in the game, friends, family, and spiritual gurus.
Life changed when I became a parent. The feeling of parenthood is surreal. I feel life is a leveller, and now that I have two babies, I can completely relate to what this feeling is all about. My work entails a lot of travel, but whenever I can steal moments from this hectic schedule, I love spending time with my son Orion and daughter Aura. While feeding them, changing their nappies, playing with them, and generally watching them grow, I feel so proud and privileged.
My Love For Golfing
A sport I thoroughly enjoy! I can be lazy at times, but when it comes to golf, I am most definitely a morning person! I recently played at Bethpage Black in New York, a tough course with meticulously manicured fairways and greens, offering golfers challenging yet picturesque playing conditions. Canʼt wait to go back again!
The Finer Things in Life
I have no control when I see freshly made, sizzling jalebis! But Iʼm also conscious about what I eat, and try to maintain a balance. As for globetrotting, I have travelled extensively during my cricketing career. Those tours used to be very focused on training and the matches. Now, I have a little more time and I try to plan holidays with my family. One of my favourite destinations is Queenstown in New Zealand. I love beachy destinations, too. Apart from this, Iʼm deeply involved in the work done by my NGO YouWeCan to help cancer warriors fight all odds. I feel deeply blessed to help those in need.
On The Playing Field Next…
Iʼll continue to be involved in various ventures, including cricket, golf, business, and philanthropy. My journey is ongoing, and Iʼm excited to see what the future holds. Stay tuned!
CRICKETING SHOTS WITH YUVRAJ
A cricketer with a funny bone.
The one and only Ashish Nehra.
Most hard-working cricketer.
From the current batch: Shubman Gill.
Who is your closest friend in the cricketing world?
Difficult to name just one person. Some of my closest friendships have been formed on the cricket field.
Your most favourite memory from your cricketing career.
There are many. But lifting the ICC World Cup in 2011 still gives me goosebumps.
Your favourite cricketer.
The Master—Sachin Tendulkar.
A cricketer to watch out for.
Abhishek Sharma from Punjab, a batting all-rounder.