When Yuvraj Singh’s name was called out during the IPL Auction for the 2019 edition, there was an eerie silence in the room. From once igniting bidding wars and going for Rs 14 crore and Rs 16 crore, he went unpicked in the first round. It came as no surprise to the southpaw who believes that youngsters were going to be the main pick for the franchises in the opening round.
After being released by Kings XI Punjab following a poor season where he mustered just 65 runs from 8 matches, the World Cup winner was put into the auction and was one of the biggest names at the draw. In the second round, as teams made their request for players to be brought back for the rapidfire round, Yuvraj had only one bidder – Mumbai Indians – who eventually acquired his services for Rs 1 crore. Yuvraj spoke about being hopeful of finding a buyer eventually.
“There was no disappointment as such because I had an idea that I would not be picked in the first round,” the 2011 World Cup winner was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror. “The reason is obvious, when you are putting together an IPL team, you will be looking at the youngsters. I am at that stage of my career where it could be presumed that I may be in the last stages of my career. I had hoped that there would be a buyer for me in the last round.”
Speaking about the bid made by Mumbai Indians, Yuvraj revealed that he had a gut feeling that he might go to MI next season. Later, Akash Ambani called Yuvraj the “biggest steal in auction history”.
“Somewhere within me there was a feeling that I might go to Mumbai… frankly I am looking for an opportunity to play this year and I am happy that it has come. Akash (Ambani) had said some nice things about me and it feels good to have such confidence,” the left-handed batsman added.
Yuvraj shed light on the reason for his poor performance last year. “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 opportunity that will comes my way,” he opined.
“It will also be a very familiar environment for me because Zak (coach Zaheer Khan), Sachin (Tendulkar, the mentor) and Rohit (Sharma, the captain) are there. I have played a lot of cricket with them. I am looking forward to playing with them again. When you have the support, it motivates you to do well, it brings out the best in you.”
At 37, the question many ask Yuvraj is when will he retire but the Punjab batsman is eager to keep going on and fight for a place in the World Cup next year. “Hopefully in this season I will be able to deliver. There is fire in the belly, I am keen to be competitive. The hunger is there, I am not playing for the sake of playing. I am playing because I want to play and I am passionate about playing. I will take a call after the 2019 World Cup. I will take stock about where my life is headed. At the moment the next three four months are crucial for me in cricket. I want to just focus on that,” he added.