Former India pacer, Ashish Nehra reveals that the team members had no idea that Yuvraj Singh was battling cancer during the 2011 World Cup. Months after India won the trophy, the all-rounder revealed that he is struggling with cancer and would need to leave the field temporarily; he came back stronger and made it back to the national side as well.
Ashish Nehra says that Yuvraj, who was the Man of the Tournament in the World Cup, had earlier felt the symptoms of the illness, but it wasn’t taken too seriously and he focussed on cricket and the World Cup. The pacer lauds Yuvraj to pull off crucial performances throughout the tournament despite being not fit.
“I had no idea he was going through pain. When we were playing the West Indies in Chennai, he was telling he was feeling tired. I told him, ‘go and sleep, you will be fine. Switch on the AC’. Even after the World Cup, when he told me in Bangalore, where I was doing rehab, I told him, ‘come let’s have biryani’. We had no idea what he was going through. Credit to him, he managed to pull off,” Ashish Nehra told Cricketnext.
Whichever way I could help the team, I was happy: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra was ruled out of the final against Sri Lanka due to an injury; he had picked up a couple of wickets in the semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali. While the left-arm seamer played only 3 matches in the tournament, his performance in the semis was vital to book a ticket for the final.
The 41-year-old says he was happy carrying drinks for the team and support the players in any way he could, as there was no point in lamenting over his injury which ruled him out of the final. He didn’t play any ODI after that for India but remained in the T20I side before announcing retirement in 2017.
“I came to know 48 hours before the final that I was not playing. When I left Chandigarh, I left thinking I’d play the final but my hand got so big that it needed surgery. By that time, I had enough experience, I was nearing 32, and I was part of the World Cup before also (in 2003).
“No point now in sitting and crying that I could not play the World Cup final. Whichever way I could help the team, I was happy. I knew I could not go inside the field. I knew I could not field. At least I could serve water to the players. I moved on,” he further added.