It’s every cricketer’s dream to play the game that they love and represent their country at the highest level. Some talented blokes get into the beautiful game and get this honour but very few do it like the heart and soul of BalleBaazi: Yuvraj Singh. On this day, a year ago we heard the most hurtful words from a true cricketing legend, “I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to my friends from the media, my family, friends and fans from all across the world who are going to be part of, what is a very difficult and at the same time a beautiful moment for me I can’t really put it in words but I will try. 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. Thank you for taking the time out to be here and to support me.”
Yuvi Paa has given us memories throughout his glorious career of 300+ ODIs and over 44 test matches acing in almost every department and becoming a true match winner on whose shoulders India’s triumphs rested peacefully:
The Young Prodigy, U19 World Cup 2000
Very young in his career when he was playing for the Under 19 Indian Cricket Team, Yuvraj Singh emerged as the man of the series and eventually helped his team win the prestigious title. He was then captained by Mohammad Kaif and gave an all round performance throughout the fantasy cricket competition. He scored 203 runs at an average of 34 and a strike rate of 103. With his left arm spin, he bagged 12 wickets and rattled oppositions throughout the tournament.
A Dream Debut, Nairobi
Against a tough side like the Australians of the late 90s, Yuvraj Singh played his first ODI innings. When India was struggling against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Gillespie and Brett Lee, the swashbuckling left hander hit all the shots in the book and scored a fighting knock of 84 runs in just 80 balls. India won the match by 20 runs as Yuvi made a mark on the cricketing world on his debut.
The Best Point Fielder
In a match against South Africa, Yuvraj Singh took three blinders in the same match out of which two of them were at the point position square of the wicket. Yuvraj emerged as one of the best fielders at point not only in the Indian cricket team but also in the world fantasy cricket arena as well. Along with Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj made a mark on the world as a fielder and India’s young brigade was led by these 2 blokes in the field.
The Natwest Trophy Final, 2002
In one of the best ODIs in world cricket that happened in an India vs England encounter at Lord’s where the Natwest trophy final saw India chasing an impossible target of 325, Yuvraj contributed with the bat at the most crucial stage of the game with 69 runs. This was one of the most valuable innings of his career as he and Mohammad Kaif helped India take over the highest successful run chase at that time. This match had a lot of great memories including Kaif’s innings, Dada’s signature shirt incident and Yuvi Paa’s amazing knock of 69.
The T20 World Cup 2007
Yuvraj Singh was simply the best and unstoppable during the first edition of the T20 World Cup. Be it the fastest 50 in T20Is which is a record still unbreakable in international cricket, or the six sixes to Stuart Broad or that blistering knock of 70 runs in just 30 deliveries against Australia. Yuvi was nearly the man of the series in that tournament because of his single handed contribution to the Indian cricket team’s triumph in the edition.
The Cricket World Cup, 2011
Yuvraj Singh’s golden moments in cricket history came in the 2011 World Cup where he was simply the Midas of the Indian cricket team. Scoring 362 runs in the tournament along with taking 15 wickets, he played like a true champion and undoubtedly helped India win the world cup. His all round contribution against in the tournament was undivided even though he had started showing signs of lung cancer on the field in his century knock against the West Indies. In the game against Australia, he scored 57 runs and helped India win the quarter final with an epic celebration in the end.
150 vs England on return to International Fantasy Cricket
After returning to the international cricketing scene, Yuvraj played the innings of his life as he and MS Dhoni scored individual centuries to make a record partnership against England. Yuvraj scored a career best 150 alongside MSD’s 134 to power India to a score of 381 which helped us to win the game by 25 vital runs. He came back to the international scene like a champion and retired like a true legend.
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