Style and flair personified, one of India’s most glorious middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from international cricket yesterday (10th June). In an emotional press conference held at Mumbai, the 37-year old left-hander from Punjab called time on his cricketing career. The decision sent cricketing fraternity into a frenzy as everyone recounted the heroic efforts of Yuvraj.
A batsman with a terrific bat-swing, a wily bowler who had a golden arm and one of India’s all-time great fielders, Yuvraj has given us a treasure of memories in his 18-year long international career. Here’s a brief timeline of the legendary journey.
Early days – the talent shines through
Starts his career for the Punjab Under-16s at the age of 13 years and 11 months in November 1995–96 against Jammu and Kashmir Under-16s.
Makes his first-class debut for Punjab against Orissa during the 1997–98 Ranji Trophy but gets out for a duck while opening the innings.
Scores 358 in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy Final against Bihar at Jamshedpur. Bihar was all out for 357 in the first innings. MS Dhoni kept wickets for Bihar in this match.
India wins the Under-19 Cricket World Cup under the captaincy of Mohammad Kaif. Yuvraj is named player of the tournament for his all-round performance.
Flying in national colours
Makes his ODI debut against Kenya at Nairobi in the Champions Trophy but does not get to bat. In the next match versus Australia, smashes 84 (80) and wins the man of the match award.
Pulls off India’s most glorious run-chase in ODIs. With the team struggling at 146/5 in the Natwest Trophy final against England, stitches a match-winning partnership with Mohammad Kaif, scoring 69 (63) in process.
Scores his maiden ODI century (102* from 85 balls) against Bangladesh at Dhaka in April. Later Yorkshire signs him for the 2003 county season. Makes his much-awaited Test debut on 16 October 2003 at his home ground Mohali against New Zealand.
Glory days, Golden peak
Gets his maiden Test century at Lahore against Pakistan. Scores 112 from 129 balls with 15 fours and two sixes.
Yuvraj lights up the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa with his spectacular hitting. In the freak innings of 58 from 16 balls, smashes six sixes in Stuart Broad’s over. Later, belts Australia with a knock of 70 (30) in the semifinal.
Captains Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. Later in the year, stitches an unbeaten 163-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar at Chennai to complete the chase of 387 runs in the Test match against England.
Yuvraj enjoys a stellar outing in the ODI World Cup. Scores 362 runs, takes 15 wickets and wins four man of the match awards in total. He is named man of the tournament in India’s winning campaign.
The tragedy strikes
Diagnosed with cancer and receives treatment in the USA. In March 2012, Yuvraj is discharged after completing the treatment. Gets back to full fitness and is selected for India after for 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Return and finish
Delhi Daredevils bids 16 crores for Yuvraj making it the highest-ever bid in IPL history.
Scores 150 against England in an ODI in Cuttack (His highest in ODIs). Rescues India from 25/3 and puts on a 256-run stand with MS Dhoni.
Plays his last ODI for India. Scores 39 against West Indies at Antigua.
10th May 2019
Retires from International cricket with the experience of 402 matches, 11778 runs, 148 wickets and 137 catches.