Yuvraj Singh’s flamboyance in cricket and his fight against cancer came into focus at a book launch on the all-rounder. Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev, both achievers with their own identity in the game, were invited to offer insights on the left-hander. The occasion was the launch of ‘Yuvi’ penned by Makarand Waingankar and published by Harper Sport.
Vengsarkar described him as an extremely talented and focussed youngster.
“Following a phone call from father Yograj Singh wanting to send his son to my academy (Vengsarkar Cricket Academy), he came to Mumbai,” said Vengsarkar.
“Yuvraj was a clean-hitter even then, able to clear the boundary by a long way.”
He felt Yuvraj should be playing a lot more Test cricket. “When I became a selector, I ensured that he got the opportunity to show his batting ability in Tests and was happy to see him score 169 against Pakistan (third Test at Bangalore in 2007-2008 series),” said Vengsarkar, remembering attending Yuvraj’s first birthday celebrations at Chandigarh.
Father Yograj, former India pace bowler, played in Mumbai for Mafatlal and had wanted his son to experience Mumbai’s cricket culture at a young age.
“God created man, he created superman also,” said Kapil, praising the left-hander for return to cricket post-cancer.
He added: “I think it is easy to talk (about cancer), tough to be in Yuvraj’s shoes.
“He had the passion to play, had passion for life. When such a person is faced with a life-changing experience, it is difficult to take the next step.
“That boy from Chandigarh came back and made a name not only in India, not only in cricket-playing countries, but all over the world,” said one of cricket’s finest all-rounders.
“Yuvraj has come back as a new human being.
“He showed people that whenever we face problems in life, go through such tough times, it is possible to come back. Hats off to him,” said Kapil.