New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Exactly a year ago, on June 10, 2019, India’s 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
“After 25 years in and around the 22 yards and almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust off, to get up again and move forward,” Yuvraj had said while announcing his retirement.
Considered as one of the most destructive batsmen in limited overs format, Yuvraj played 19 years of international cricket. He played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India, putting together 1,900 runs in the longest format, and 8,701 in the one-dayers, the format in which he enjoyed most success.
The Chandigarh-born cricketer captured the imagination of world cricket with his gravity-defying fielding abilities and effortless power-hitting.
He was perhaps the last of the time when a group of young cricketers, with their sheer perseverance, had emerged out of the dark shadows of a match-fixing scandal that had left the India cricket team in tatters in late 1990s. They had built for themselves a moniker that meant more than the words themselves — ‘Men in Blue’.
Big events brought out the best in him – be it his international cricket entry at 2000 ICC Champions Trophy, the mind-numbing batting exhibition at inaugural 2007 World Twenty20, or the all-round performance at 2011 World Cup.
During his career, Yuvraj had shattered the record for the then most expensive Indian Premier League (IPL) player as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought him for a whopping INR 14 crore during the 2014 auction.
And then once again, his price went a notch higher at the 2015 auction as Delhi Daredevils brought the all-rounder for INR 16 crores.
Yuvraj’s entry into international cricket made everyone take a notice of his abilities. In just his second ODI, Yuvraj took on the Australian fast bowlers in an exhibition of fearless batting at Nairobi during the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy and it won him the Man of the Match award.
In the longest format of the game, Yuvraj had a special liking for Pakistan as he scored all his three centuries in the format against them – first on a green top in Lahore in 2004, second in Karachi in 2006 and third, his best of 169 in Bengaluru.