India's 2011 Cricket World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh has announced his retirement. The left-handed batting all-rounder from Punjab, who played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League this year, said he "had decided to move on" at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.
(Full Coverage: ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019)
Brought into national reckoning by former captain Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh made his ODI debut against Kenya in Nairobi on October 3, 2000 in the ICC Champions Trophy. Since then, he played 304 matches, scoring 8,701 runs and taking 111 wickets.
Yuvraj also played 40 Test matches and 231 Twenty20 games. The 37-year-old played his last international game -- a ODI -- against the West in North Sound on June 30, 2017.
Son of former Indian pacer Yograj Singh, Yuvraj is married to filmstar Hazel Keech.
One of the greatest comeback stories in sport, Yuvraj Singh returned to cricket after fighting cancer. At the peak of his career, the flamboyant player was diagnosed with mediastinal seminoma, a germ-cell tumour located between his two lungs. The diagnosis was confirmed in February 2012, and he was out of the game till December that year.
"This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust off, to get up again and move forward," Yuvraj said in an emotional media conference. He will not play IPL any more. Very recently, Yuvraj had sought the BCCI's permission to play in T20 tournaments outside India.
Yuvraj was not the same cricketer after he returned to mainstream cricket but he was quite a hot property in the IPL circuit. In 2014, Royal Challengers Bangalore paid him a record 14 crores and in 2015, Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) bought him for Rs 16 crores to make him the most expensive player ever to be sold. He never quite justified his price.
Mumbai Indians was Yuvraj's sixth IPL team. He played four matches for the Rohit Sharma-led team, scoring all of 98 runs with a highest of 53 in his first match against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium.
Given the stiff competition for middle-order spots in India's limited-overs teams, Yuvraj's international future was getting increasingly doubtful.
But he was a superstar for India in two World Cups, particularly 2011 when India won the championship for the second time after 1983. Who can forget his six sixes against Stuart Broad in a World T20 match in September 2007. He was a pillar in India's World T20 win that year.
Yuvi, as he was lovingly called by his teammates and the media, amassed 362 runs - including one century and four fifties. With his left-arm spin, Yuvraj took 15 wickets and won four Man-of-the-Match awards to emerge the Player of the Tournament. In the process, Yuvraj became the first all-rounder to score 300-plus runs and take 15 wickets in a single World Cup.
"Cricket has given me everything I have. Thank you for being a part of this journey,” said Yuvraj.
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