MUMBAI, June 10: Eight years after he prevented cancer from dictating his life choices, a tearful Yuvraj Singh on Monday brought the curtains down on a roller-coaster international career, the pinnacle of which was his exploits in India�s 2011 World Cup triumph.
Tall, willowy and ethereal, his unlimited talent and charisma made him a limited overs legend, but he will walk into the sunset feeling he has not done enough in Tests. The Punjabi southpaw, though, tried repeatedly to turn back time before calling it quits.
�After 25 years, in and around 22 yards, and after almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything and is the reason why I stand here today,� the 37-year-old said addressing the media in the extravagant interiors of a star hotel that quite resembled his flamboyant batting.
�I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,� he added.
The explosive batter said he now wants to �enjoy life� and pursue a freelance career in T20 leagues internationally, pending BCCI permission. But he will no longer be seen in the Indian Premier League.
Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India. He put together 1900 runs in the longest format, and 8701 in the one-dayers, the format in which he enjoyed most success. His one-day runs tally places him 22nd in the overall list, and seventh among Indians. A useful left-arm spinner, Yuvraj picked up 111 ODI wickets at an average of 36.55.
�It was a love-hate relationship with this game. I can�t explain what it really means to me. This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust myself off and get up again and move forward,� he said.
�I have failed more times than I have succeeded, but I never gave up, and will never give up, till my last breath, and that�s what cricket has taught me. I gave my blood and sweat to the game once I got on to it, especially when it came to representing my country,� he added.
The attacking left-hander listed the 2011 World Cup triumph, being Man of the Tournament in the showpiece, getting six sixes in an over against England in the inaugural 2007 World T20 and his first Test hundred, against Pakistan in Lahore in 2004, as the most special moments of his international career that twisted this way and that through 17 years. � PTI
Yuvi�s career highlights
The southpaw, who also bowled orthodox left-arm spin, played 40 Tests, 304 One-day Internationals (ODI) and 58 T20 Internationals (T20I) for India.
H Under-19 World Cup (2000): India won their first ever Under-19 World Cup in 2000, thanks to star performer Yuvraj Singh. His all-round performances made him the Man of the Series and a call-up to the national squad.
Yuvraj scored 203 runs and claimed 12 wickets in 8 matches. In a group stage match, he scored 68 runs against New Zealand and also took four wickets. He did not stop here and scored a quick-fire 58 off 25 balls against Australia in semifinals.
H NatWest Trophy (2002): It was the NatWest Trophy final of 2002 where Sourav Ganguly�s men chased down a huge total of 326. Yuvraj played a major role in one of the most iconic moments in Indian cricket�s history.
Chasing 326, India were struggling at 146/5 when Yuvraj along with Mohammad Kaif started rebuilding the innings. They stitched a 121-run partnership which ensured India�s win. Yuvraj scored 69 off 63 balls in India�s famous win.
H T20 World Cup (2007): He played some fantastic knocks of 58 (16 balls) and 70 (30) against England and Australia respectively.
Yuvraj smashed England�s Stuart Broad for record six sixes in an over during the tournament. He also holds the record of hitting biggest six of 119 metres.
H ICC World Cup (2011): He scored 362 runs in nine matches at a staggering average of 90.50 with one century and four half-centuries.
He also impressed with the ball, claiming 15 wickets in the tournament including two in the final played at the Wankhede as India scripted an emphatic victory in the final clash and lifted the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. He was named Player of the Tournament. � Agencies