Happy Birthday, Yuvi!

Ignore the grammatical glitches.

ICC Knock out trophy 2000.
Backed by his impressive records in the U19 world cup, Yuvraj Singh made it to the team and debuted against Kenya. Though he did not bat, he showed a sign of positive attitude while bowling his four overs which made Ganguly go with him in the Quarter Final against Australia. Ganguly, who normally believes in his instincts was right this time as well. The youngster who showed a great amount of courage batted as if he belonged in the highest level. When the team lost quick wickets after a good start, the burden was on him. He showed an excellent amount of maturity. His 84(80) stood out as the match-winning innings against Australia consisting of heavyweights like McGrath, Lee, Gillespie. More than the innings, his stylish display of strokes and the elegance caught everyone’s eye.

Those classy flick shots, cover drives, straight drives, leg glances were like an art when it came from his bat.

A few matches later where he was dropped and made it to the team again, he scored a crucial 98* against Sri Lanka in Coco Cola cup. Yet again, a difficult situation, yet again he stood up.

Fast forward to 2002 Natwest final.
Last time England toured to India, Flintoff removed his shirt before the Indian players, sledged them. The pale-faced Dada who couldn’t sleep that night was waiting for the right moment to give it back because it did hurt his ego and nobody does that against the Prince of Kolkata. Thus, their tour to England meant more to him. Yuvraj Singh, who admires Dada more than anything else, couldn’t take it up as well. In 2002 where even a 240 is a winning score, England slammed 325, leaving India speechless. Dada’s two-minute talk motivated the team and India started well by adding 106 for the first wicket. Then the familiar collapse happened, 146/5. Along with his U19 captain Kaif, Yuvraj Singh added a brave partnership, scored 69. It was an innings of a pure determination and skill. Kaif carried on to win the match for the team, for Dada. The revenge was served hot at the home of cricket.

Dada saw a good bowler in him rather than an attacking batsman. He was used as India’s backup bowler in most of the matches. The athletism he and Kaif provided on the field was outstanding, and if not with the bat or ball, they won matches through their fielding.

Come 2007 World Cup T20. The big-hitter Yuvraj Singh had his major appearance. How good was this world cup?
Ask Broad who is yet to recover from that one particular over even after ten plus years. Ask Australian bowlers who had could only able to watch the ball sail a long way.
Or simply ask any Indian fan. With Ravi Shastri’s bold commentary, India witnessed history. It was ‘Yuvraj Singh finishes things off in style’ before Dhoni took away those words. Throughout the tournament, he was there for the team. Thus India lifted the World Cup.

With some huge ups and huge downs and letdowns, he was into the 2011 World Cup squad. Lesser did people knew, it will change his life forever.

This was Sachin’s last world cup, and everybody in the team wanted to win it at least for the man who carried the team on his shoulders for years. For someone who grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj took up the responsibility, made a promise even before the world cup.

A few matches before the big picture, Yuvraj Singh saw blood in his vomit. He had dizziness. He thought it was due to the sun and ignored it.

As India grew closer to yet another final, a clot pressing against lung and artery was growing as well. He couldn’t sleep, constantly blood vomited, couldn’t breathe, and became sleep deprived. Yet he was winning the man of the match awards. The match against Australia, had him throw up consistently on the field that umpire rushed to ask if he were okay. Despite his pain, he was running and scoring runs, taking us to the final.

A night before the final, he searched hard to find the right sleeping pill. A few hours before the match, the players saw him vomiting at the dressing room, and they thought it was due to the nervousness of the final. Even Yuvraj believed it was the nerves though he guesses it was more than that. He did not eat anything other than bread before the match to keep himself prepared. The fear of fighting the unknown was greater than everything else. After Dhoni finished off in style, people falling on him on joy would’ve killed him that day because of the pressure applied. He would’ve died from the heart attack as well. Luckily, he didn’t.

He kept up his promise. He helped the team to win the world cup for the country, for Sachin. He said he was ready to undergo the same thing if someone had told him that it could win the world cup for his team, for his idol.

Whenever I read/ write about this, I shed tears. It’s emotional.

Coming back after fighting his biggest enemy was itself a great achievement for Yuvraj Singh.

From a man who was known for his athletism, nothing can hurt more than failing the Yo-Yo Test.

This IPL probably will the last time we see him play the game. I wish he ends on a high. At least for all the battles and the fights, he deserves it.

Thank you, Yuvi. For winning the world cup for us, for Sachin. For being the fighter, a warrior king. Thank you for being our role model, inspiration.

In your book of life, you would’ve won and lost many battles, but you never gave up. Thanks for that. I love you ❤️