Now, who doesn’t remember those out-of-the-park 6 sixes in an over, it feels like it was just yesterday! Yes, it’s Yuvraj Singh’s birthday and as he turns 36 today, we look back at his stunning cricketing career.
Yuvraj Singh aka YUVI, started his career at the age of 19 after his phenomenal performance in the under-19 world cup in the year 2000. Yuvi has never looked back! He was at the peak of his career between 2006 and 2008 delivering some of his best performances. No one will ever forget his contribution towards the 2011 World Cup.
As the champ celebrates his 36th birthday today, we look back to his truly incredible career, complete with records, disappointments, and memories.
#1 U-19 World Cup:
The first time that the world witnessed this solid-hitting left-handed batsman from Chandigarh, was during the U-19 World Cup in the year 2000 in Sri Lanka. With an amazing strike-rate of 103, he scored 203 runs in the tournament and took 12 wickets. His 58 runs knock off in just 25-balls against Australia in the semi-finals, with 5 fours and 5 sixes was a delight to watch. In less than a year, he was playing for India.
#2 Young Yuvraj:
Son of former Indian fast bowler and Punjabi actor Yograj Singh, cricket was something Yuvi grew up watching. Studying at Chandigarh’s DAV School, Yuvi had maximum attendance on the cricket pitch, and it is also said that he broke a school sign board with one of his huge sixes. He was quite a naughty kid, eh? Like every other young cricketer, he was a Sachin Tendulkar fan since childhood. He still cherishes the moments he spent on the field with the God of Cricket, and rates that test in the year 2008 in Chennai as one of his best times. That was really a crucial partnership with the Master Blaster to win the game for India.
#3 The World Cup debut:
It was not a long wait for YUVI, just three years after he made his debut, he was playing in his first ever World Cup. The hopes were high and as everyone witnessed, he rose to the occasion when it mattered the most for the Indian cricket team. In the match against the arch-rivals, Pakistan, the partnership between Yuvraj and Rahul Dravid took India home to a win. Though many remember that game for Sachin’s marvelous six that he hit off Shoaib Akhtar, YUVI and Dravid had major contributions. Yuvraj scored the most valuable half-century of his career.
#4 The Golden years, 2006-08:
With the ups and downs that every cricketer has to face in their career, YUVI had his own too. It was that golden time in Yuvraj’s career when he blazed with his bat knocking 139 runs against Australia at the SCG in the year 2004. His first Test century against the traditional rivals – Pakistan in Lahore took place in the same year. He made three 50 plus scores in a series of 5 matches. He even batted with a hamstring injury knocking 107 runs in the final game to give India a second series win in Pakistan. Now that’s a real fighter, well done! YUVI gave some promising performances between the years 2006-08 marking his career’s golden period.
#5 T20 World Cup 2007:
Whenever anyone talks about the T20 World Cup 2007, the first thing that comes to mind is that series of massive 6 sixes in an over that Yuvi hit off young Stuart Broad. Stuart Broad will never forget that day as Yuvraj calmly destroyed every single ball bowled to him in that over! It seemed that the format of T20 cricket was made for players like Yuvraj. With his 70 runs off 30-ball against Australia in semi-finals, yuvraj was placed on the list of the most destructive players in cricketing history. India lifted the T20 World Cup 2007 with a big thanks to Yuvi. Let’s have a look to those tremendous sixes https://youtu.be/wSwSaF2z124
#6 Jersey No. 12:
Cricket is a religion in India and one can feel it with a number of cricketing fans India has! With sportsmen around the world having their own lucky numbers, Yuvi was no exception. Born on December 12, 1981, in Chandigarh, Yuvi considers 12 to be his lucky number. However, it is his hard work and dedication that made him one of India’s finest cricket players.
#7 World Cup 2011:
How can anyone forget the day when India lifted the second World Cup in 2011? It was a festive time in India, people celebrated the World Cup victory on every street with fireworks as if it was Diwali! After a disappointing form in 2010, Yuvraj made the World Cup tournament his own by taking India home with victories on several occasions in the tournament. He scored an astonishing 362 runs in the World Cup tournament and earned 15 wickets, thus bagging four Man-of-the-Match awards.
Yuvi scored a century against West Indies followed by four half centuries, and an amazing one against Australia in the quarter-final. Yuvraj was the Man-of-the-Series and the man who made it possible for India to lift the World Cup after 28 long years. What a feeling it was for an Indian cricket fan!
#8 A Hot-headed Cricketer:
Yuvraj Singh is one of the most hot-headed players in the Indian cricket team. It was not surprising when he accepted that he would often throw his bat after an early dismissal. Now that’s frustrating for a batsman! It was Sachin Tendulkar who rebuked him, “The bat you just threw, brings food to your home. Do not repeat that again.” There is no player in the Indian cricket team who does not respect the Master Blaster. Those lines by Sachin hit Yuvraj so hard that he never ever repeated the same mistake.
#9 Million Dollar Baby:
It was all about quick cricket and the money with the Indian Premier League. In 2014 IPL auction Royal Challengers Bangalore bought Yuvi for an all-time-high price tag of Rs. 14 crores! That record got re-written the very next year as the Delhi Daredevils bought him for a mind-blowing Rs. 16 crores making Yuvraj the most expensive player in the IPL! His title, ‘Superman of T20′ cricket isn’t without reason; he has emerged as an unstoppable all-rounder that everyone wants in their IPL squad.
#10 Awards and Endorsements:
Indian cricket players making it to the list of the highest paid sports-persons in the world of sports is nothing new. Yuvraj with his cricketing career was a face in demand as he was signed by Microsoft to be the brand ambassador for the Xbox 360 video game consoles followed by several other endorsements.
He was awarded a Porsche 911 in 2007 by the Vice president of BCCI after his performances in the World Cup T20. The car company Audi presented a Q5 to Yuvraj for his performance in the 2011 World Cup tournament. He was absolutely unstoppable with the Arjuna Award in the year 2012 by the President of India Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014, Yuvi was the only Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to have been signed by English County Yorkshire, an honor few overseas players are awarded.
#11 Battle with Cancer:
In 2011, after the World Cup win, life brought disappointing news for Yuvi. During World Cup 2011, he would often wake up in the middle of the night as he had difficulty breathing. A chest scan after the World Cup revealed a tumor. It was later found that the tumor was malignant. Yuvraj was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs, for which he underwent a number of chemotherapies in the United States. Everyone knows Yuvraj as a fighter and he continued his fight off the ground battling strong against cancer. In one of his interviews, he said, “Cancer does not mean death. Don’t be scared… Be positive… Please don’t think that your life is about to end.” The battle with cancer made Yuvraj stronger. It was nothing but joy for the fans when it was official that Yuvi is cancer-free and ready for the pitch once again.
He even established ‘YouWeCan’, a non-profitable foundation to help people with cancer. In September 2012 YouWeCan app was launched by Microsoft. When a user buys the app, he contributes one part of the price of Rs. 565 as a donation to the foundation. Yuvraj also announced his intention to invest approximately 40-50 crores in online startups to expand his foundation. He is also directly or indirectly involved in a number of other social causes. Nice work Yuvi!
# 12 Clean Bowled by Hazel:
No wonder women were crazy for Yuvi, he was often linked to several Bollywood actresses like Deepika Padukone (No offense Mr. Ranveer Singh) and Kim Sharma. He was the poster boy of the Indian cricket team and the most eligible bachelor. After a number of affairs, Yuvraj was clean bowled by model-cum-actress Hazel Keech. On Nov 12, 2015, Yuvraj got engaged to Hazel Keech and they were married on Nov 30, 2016.
Though, things aren’t going in Yuvi’s favor, he is working hard on his fitness to make a comeback in the Indian cricket team. Yuvraj Singh has proven time and again that he is fighter and doesn’t believe in giving up!
These were some handpicked things about our very own Yuvraj Singh. Do wish him via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/yuvirajsinghofficial/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/YUVSTRONG12) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/yuvisofficial/)