India news August 10, 2012

'It is like being selected for the first time' - Yuvraj

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh compared his return to cricket after being picked for the two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand and the World Twenty20 "like being selected for India for the first time."

The selection is expected to mark Yuvraj's return to the Indian team for the first time in just under 12 months during which he was diagnosed with a rare germ-cell cancer called mediastinal seminoma. After undergoing chemotherapy in the USA for close to two months, Yuvraj has been training in the NCA for the last six weeks with the aim of getting back into the Indian team.

On being told that he had cancer Yuvraj said he had told himself, "that one day I would come back and play for India again. I was determined to do that. However much I had to go through with the cancer, I kept the faith because I wanted to step on the field again one day. Today I've got the news that I am going to be stepping on the field again. I am ecstatic. I can't wait to step on the field and wave the Indian flag!"

He said that while the fitness and recovery reports from the NCA had been encouraging enough for him to expect being selected again, "Everyone was talking about whether I should be picked or not, so I wasn't sure. I heard the [selection] news on the TV. It is as if I was being picked for India again - that same feeling that I can't explain."

While he said he had not been in touch with the selectors while training at the NCA for the last six weeks, he said the fitness reports would have indicated to the selectors that he had made enough progress. The BCCI had been, "very supportive," he said, of his recovery programme and that the selectors had showed, "immense confidence in me. I want to thank a lot of people, friends, colleagues, doctors, physios and trainers for this day."

His return to training over the last two months was preceded by a light two-week training programme, "to get into that training mode." It was the first three weeks of actual training at the NCA, Yuvraj said, which "were the toughest because the body was not used to the pain you get from training." But he said that he began to get more used to the regimen, "and after six weeks of training, I think I am now in good shape." He said, "I have another month or so to go for the World T20 so this month is going to be very crucial for me getting ready." It was expected that Yuvraj would play a few games in the Buchi Babu invitational tournament before the two T20 games against New Zealand. However, it is now learnt that an attempt is being made to ensure that Yuvraj gets some match practice with the white ball which may take place at NCA.

Yuvraj's target for his return to international cricket were the two T20s versus New Zealand to be played in Visakhapatnam on September 8 and Chennai on September 11. About his plans on making a comeback to the ODI and the Test teams, he said, "ODIs and Tests are tougher on the body, but T20 is the place to start. I hope to get stronger for longer formats with time."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • akshay on August 13, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Welcome back Champ, you've already showed this world what you can do by winning both T20 and ODI world cups for India. Now you've also shown what a true fighter you are by overcoming all odds against a life-threatening disease and making a comeback to play for INDIA again. You have all the best wishes and prayers of more than a billion Indian fans in and around the world and I'm sure your comeback will inspire many other sportsman to "BECOME FIGHTERS NOT QUITTERS". All the best and hope you win another WC and become a legend - A true FIGHTER and TEAM PLAYER.

  • Srinivas on August 12, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Welcome back Champ! Wish you the very best. Don't focus on the results. Just play Champ. Blessings to you. Did you stop smoking Champ? Hope you did.

  • kunal on August 12, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    come on champ it will be a magic moment if he does perform well. but deep down i dont know how practical it is. but none the less he is a fighter .i want him and india to do well in the t20 wc

  • Cricket on August 12, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Best Wishes... make Test come back too...

  • jagan on August 12, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    hi yuvi, i'm more happier for you. congrats. show the world who you are!!! i knew it is difficult to show the form you were in world cups!!! recently i like u so much, bcos ur attitude has changed a lot may be you were getting matured!!!hats off to you!!! yuvi dont forget you have all the qualities of becoming a legend!!!!

  • Naresh on August 11, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    YUVI's fan following is very high. I remember during ODI WC he vowed to win the cup for INDIA and some senior players. Type of player that inspires others.

  • Hardalbir on August 11, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    What a fighter he is :) He is great hero .. a gem of person and gem of player.. i love you YUVI..!!! you are the man you have great talent and you proved you are the best. You won the T20 and World CUP for India. I am sure you will win T20 again for India. You won the world cup of cancer.. God bless you

  • lankan on August 11, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    a good cricketer, welcome back to cricket -SL fan

  • Dhaval on August 11, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Real fighter..Welcome back to Int'l arena..Kudos to BCCI for selecting him. Hope he does well for Team India. Wish you all the best..Yuvi.

  • Noman on August 11, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    As a Pakistani supporter...I have a very few Indian players who are Yuvi performs well against Pak more often then not....but to b honest...i cant resist admiring his batting and breathtaking shots...he is one of my all time fav left hander along with wellcome back Yuvraj

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