Like father, like son — fighters to the core

Yograj Singh was diagnosed with cancer in Gwalior late last year.

Written by Shalini Gupta | Chandigarh | Published:July 6, 2014 3:36 am
Yograj Singh at a Sector 9 gym on Saturday. ( Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh ) Yograj Singh at a Sector 9 gym on Saturday. ( Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh )

It was business as usual for former Indian cricketer Yograj Singh to walk in into the gym on Saturday evening. The fact that he, cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father and renowned coach, had undergone a surgery for throat cancer in New York last month, matters little to him. His zest to fight keeps him going.

Though his voice was low while talking to the media, 56-year-old Yograj did not hesitate to let people know that he was feeling better and was raring to go. “It is unfortunate that I had a tumour in my vocal chords. I hate the fact that I was unwell. I hid it from my family as I did not want to bother them or get them worried. I saw people dying in the hospital due to cancer, which was a life changing experience.  “I am relieved that it is over and I am back to my family and friends. For me life would be the same again. Acting and coaching will be on my mind.”

Yograj Singh, who played a pivotal role in shaping Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing career, was diagnosed with cancer in Gwalior late last year. It was after suffering persistent breathlessness that Yograj consulted doctors. His friends, former cricketers Bishen Bedi and Madan Lal, told him to visit a Delhi hospital for tests and after much deliberations Yograj got the tests done in Gwalior.

After the diagnosis, he packed his bags and headed to New York alone for the treatment. Until then, his wife Satveer and children Victor and Amya did not know about his ailment. He told them only after reaching New York. However, Yograj did confide with his son Yuvraj Singh. On hearing the news, Yuvraj Singh, who himself battled cancer was shocked and could not hold back his tears.

“Yuvraj was very emotional. I am sure any son would have had that reaction. He hugged me and cried. He wanted to accompany me for the treatment, but I was clear that I go through this alone. Also, I did not want him to skip the IPL. I told him to concentrate on the game. He was in touch with me throughout my stay in US, said Yograj, who stayed in a Manhattan hospital for 25 days. His treatment was overseen by his wife Satveer’s family there.

Another person who was heart-broken with the news was Chandigarh cricketer Manan Vohra, who has learnt everything about the game from his coach Yograj Singh. While playing in the IPL for the Kings XI, Manan kept in touch with Yograj Singh through WhatsApp, as his coach was advised not to talk.

“Manan’s good form was a breather for me. His show in the IPL pepped me up. I will catch up with him soon before he leaves for his India-A tour to Australia,” said Yograj, who will resume shooting for a film from Monday.

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