Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was arguably a treat to watch when in full flow. Yuvraj Singh was one of the pivotal members of the Indian limited-overs’ outfit for more than a decade, playing chief roles in their 2007 World T20 triumph and 2011 World Cup victory. Meanwhile, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) secretary Puneet Bali has requested the 38-year old to reconsider retirement and feature in the upcoming domestic season for Punjab.
Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in June 2019 after failing to make the cut for the World Cup. He last played a first-class fixture in June 2019 while also featuring in Global T20 Canada and the Abu Dhabi T10 league. The southpaw appeared in 304 ODIs, 58 T20Is, and 40 Tests. Yuvraj’s last game in the national colours came in June 2017, which was an ODI against the West Indies. Due to inconsistencies, the Indian selectors did not pick him for the 2019 World Cup.
Puneet Bali told ESPN Cricinfo that Yuvraj wonderfully mentored the young guns in Chandigarh, who also underwent sessions with their trainers and physios. Bali identified that they have lost plenty of integral players in the last two years Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh. Hence, the southpaw’s experience and credibility could be invaluable to the youngsters.
“These boys were all undergoing sessions with our physios and trainers to prepare. Yuvraj initiated sessions with these boys while he was in Chandigarh. Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve lost players to other states, many of our players to Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal. So we felt a player of Yuvraj’s experience and calibre could lend a lot of value and inspire the youngsters,” Puneet Bali said.
Bali went on to say that he requested Yuvraj to play for all formats; however, he supports his availability for only limited-overs matches as well. The secretary is looking forward to hearing from the World Cup winner and commended him for working hard with the squad.
“The request I made was for him to consider playing all formats. But if he comes back to and says, he’s available only for limited-overs cricket, for some reason, that will be fine too. I’m looking forward to hear from him soon. But as such, he’s been working hard with the boys,” he added.
“I too had wonderful mentors when I began” : Yuvraj Singh
Earlier, the 38-year old admitted to enjoying the mentor’s role a lot and underlined he had those too during his formative years. The veteran also hailed the PCA, who raised the standards and provided some upgraded facilities to the players.
“I am enjoying this role a lot. I too had wonderful mentors when I began. Also, I appreciate the way PCA has pledged to raise the standards and provide the players with the best of facilities,” Yuvraj Singh told Hindsutan Times.