Yuvraj Singh still has "fire in the belly" and is "keen to be competitive" after being signed by Mumbai Indians for IPL 2019.
Released by Kings XI Punjab after managing only 65 runs in six innings in 2018, Yuvraj found no takers in the first round. However, he found himself in the shortlist during the accelerated round that featured those who went unsold earlier on auction day.
"The hunger is there, I'm not playing for the sake of playing," he told Mumbai Mirror. "I am playing because I want to play and I'm passionate about playing. Hopefully in this season I will be able to deliver."
At a base price of INR 1 crore, the general perception was that Yuvraj may have pegged himself at a price too steep for someone at 37. Yuvraj, though, insisted he "had an idea" that teams wouldn't pick him immediately.
"There was no disappointment as such," he said. "The reason is obvious. When you are putting together an IPL team, you will be looking at the youngsters. I am at the stage of my career where it could be presumed that I may be in the last stages. I had hoped that there would be buyers for me in the last round.
"Somewhere within me there was a feeling that I might go to Mumbai. Frankly, I am looking at an opportunity to play this year and it has come. Akash (Ambani, co-owner) had some nice things to say about me and it feels good to have such confidence.
"It will also be a familiar environment for me because Zak (Zaheer Khan, director of cricket), Sachin (Tendulkar, the mentor) and Rohit (Sharma, the captain) are there. I have played a lot of cricket with them. I'm looking forward to playing with them again. When you have support, it motivates you to do well, it brings out the best in you."
Looking back at the 2018 season, Yuvraj felt his modest returns may have been due to an unsettled batting positon. "Agreed, that the last season was not great. But the point was I played at different positions in four-five games. I was not given one position to bat. This year I am very keen to make the best of the opportunities that come my way."
Mumbai is Yuvraj's sixth IPL team. He's previously played for Kings XI Punjab, Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Jayant Yadav traded to Mumbai Indians
Delhi Capitals have traded the offspin-bowling allrounder Jayant Yadav to Mumbai Indians. The 28-year old had been part of the Delhi franchise since 2015, and has four wickets from 10 matches in the tournament. With this trade, Mumbai have filled their quota of 25 players, while Delhi now have one place left.
Jayant recently captained the India Emerging Team in Sri Lanka, where he picked up 10 wickets in five games. He was instrumental in taking the side to the final, where he made an 85-ball 71 in a losing cause.
According to a BCCI release, the trading window remains open until 30 days before the start of the tournament.
Mumbai Indians (updated squad): Evin Lewis, Quinton de Kock, Anmolpreet Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Yuvraj Singh, Pankaj Jaiswal, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Rasikh Salam, Lasith Malinga, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav