Cricketer Yuvraj Singh might have shifted to Gurgaon from Chandigarh few years back, but his heart still beats for the city where he learnt the early lessons of cricket. Be it the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium, DAV School, Sector 8, ground or the ground at the DAV College, Sector 10, Yuvraj at 32 still remembers the time spent at these places during his growing years so vividly.
During his visit to The Indian Express office here for an Idea Exchange, the hero of 2011 World Cup triumph recalled, “I get very warm response from the people, friends and relatives living in Chandigarh whenever I am here. The moment I reach the Chandigarh airport, first thing that comes to my mind is that I am back to the place where I have hit thousands of sixes and broken hundreds window panes. I spent amazing years while I trained with my father Yograj Singh in Chandigarh. I was exposed to my first love, ‘skating’ in Chandigarh and that love is still there.
Yuvraj was in Chandigarh for taking part in the 21st JP Atray memorial cricket tournament from the Punjab Cricket Club (PCC) team. With 40 Tests and 293 ODIs behind him, Yuvraj Singh, shared more memories with the Express staffers and felt that he will pick up skates once again when he is retired from international cricket and pursue his passion. “I am still in love with skating. Although, I do not have time to start playing the sport again as I am totally involved in cricket but once I am over with my cricket career, I will be back in the skating rink with a bang.”
It maybe recalled that Yuvraj, who is son of former Indian Test bowler Yograj Singh, was coaxed to take up cricket by his father. Yuvraj was into skating while he was young and one day Yograj, threw away his skates and was taken away for cricket training at the Sector 16 Stadium. The swashbuckling cricketer, who holds the record for hitting six sixes in an over (He smashed England bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over during the 2007 T-20 World Cup in South Africa), was also keen on starting up with his sports school near Chandigarh in order to help and nurture young talent in the region.
“It will be great to be near my roots and provide a platform to the youngsters at the grass-root level.” It was in the year 2012 that the Punjab government led by Prakash Singh Badal offered to allot 20 acres near Chandigarh to star cricketer Yuvraj Singh for setting up a world-class sports academy. Yuvraj runs cricket academies in the NCR region. After guiding India to WC triumph in 2011, Yuvraj underwent chemotherapy in the US. Yuvraj also felt that Chandigarh batsman, Manan Vohra has the talent to break into the Indian team soon.