The finals of Natwest Trophy 2001 launched a flamboyant, young left-hander from India into the record books. The journey after that was as dramatic as it was heart-warming. From a T20 World Cup winner to the ‘water boy’ of the team. From being almost out of the side for the World Cup 2011, to being the Man of the Series and bringing the Cup home. Controversies haunted him throughout his career. Yuvraj Singh has seen it all.
Everyone remembers the image of a sobbing Yuvi after the finals. Those tears returned to many a cricket fan’s eyes when Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs. An emotional cricketing world rallied behind him for support. People prayed for him, sent their wishes on various social networking sites. Someone known to uplift the spirits of the dressing room was now left on his own to deal with a matter of life and death - literally.
Instead of shunning himself in a corner, Yuvraj tweeted his progress regularly for his fans and the rest of the cricketing world. It was as if he owed this much to his people. It is ironic that it was only during this phase that people could find out more about Yuvraj the person Yuvraj, rather than the cricketer Yuvi. Many didn’t know that Yuvi had founded an NGO – the Yuvraj Singh Foundation - way back in 2009. More than himself, it seemed like he was assuring the nation that he would fight and end up on the winning side. Through social networking sites, he regularly cheered for Team India not only in cricket but also in other sports.
The man who had won India two World Cups had another battle to win, yet again single-handedly. His efforts speak volumes of the mammoth will and determination that he possesses - qualities which can win you half the battle. He uploaded pictures of his bald self after his chemotherapy treatment, proving that cancer was nothing to be ashamed about. Many cancer patients wrote to him saying that he is an inspiration to them, to which he encouragingly responded back. He thanked each and every one profusely who came to meet him or talked to him, like Anil Kumble, or Sachin who had said he would matter when it would matter the most, before the World Cup 2011, or Zaheer Khan who had said he would be the man of the series of the World Cup.
As Yuvi had tweeted, ‘Comeback is not a challenge, it is a statement’. Welcome back, Yuvi! Your story only proves - “Jab tak balla chalta hai, thaat hai!”