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August 29, 2012
Yuvraj Singh has received the Arjuna Award, an Indian government honour to recognise outstanding achievement in sport, from Indian president Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi. Yuvraj is currently preparing to make a comeback to international cricket after recovering from a rare germ-cell cancer.
"It's a special award for me," Yuvraj said. "I had been nominated few times but finally I got it this time. It's a proud moment for me and my family. The award will give me a lot of confidence to make a comeback and perform well."
Yuvraj hasn't played any top-flight cricket since last November but has been picked for the Twenty20s against New Zealand next month and the World Twenty20 as well. He brushed aside doubts over whether he is fit enough for the rigours of top-flight cricket.
"Experts are not watching me. They don't know about my fitness. It's me who knows what's going on. It's me who is feeling it from inside," Yuvraj said. "I know myself better and I am confident enough to do well in the World Cup in Sri Lanka."
Following chemotherapy in February and March, Yuvraj began training in June. "I am practising hard at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore," he said. "The experts over there are watching my fitness level. I know what I am doing and I just want to concentrate on my return and playing cricket.
"If you look at the last three months, I am really training hard and peaking well. I am looking forward to play my first game after a year."
Yuvraj also insisted that he had enough practice to be ready for the World Twenty20. "I had played three practice games at NCA. I will get some serious match practice in the two matches against New Zealand scheduled September 8 and 11. Then, I would be playing two more practice matches. So, you see, I will be having seven games before the World Cup. I will be having enough match practice."
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