Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from international cricket Monday. The 2011 World Cup hero 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 the most success.
Here are the highlights of what he said at a press conference to announce the decision,
“After 25 years in and around the 22 yards and almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust off, to get up again and move forward,” he said at a press conference in Mumbai.
“I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,” Singh said.
Singh thanked fellow players, family, and friends for their support through his career.
“It was a love-hate relationship with this game. I can’t explain what it really means to me. This game taught me to fight. I have failed more times than I succeeded and I will never give up,” he said.
“I think it’s the perfect day to move on,” he said. “This has been a wonderful journey and see you on the other side.”
The biggest high of his career and his one regret
Singh said that the biggest high of his career was winning the 2011 World Cup
“To be a part of history that was made after 28 years, what more could I ask for,” Singh said.
Singh said that his only regret was his performance in Test matches.
I think the biggest moment in my career would definitely be winning the World Cup in 2011 and being Man of the Series. And we won it in India as well, and after 28 years. There cannot be a bigger high.
Defining moment in my career, I think it would be when I batted for the first time in my career and scored 84 against Australia. First game, and you score 84 against the best team in the world… It was quite a dream. Because of that, I came and failed in a lot of games. But because I had started so well I always got an opportunity.
On toughest bowler he faced
You’re asking me this now?! (laughter) I think Muttiah Muralitharan would be the toughest I’ve faced. The other would be Glenn McGrath. The overseas cricketers I admire… Ricky Ponting is someone I really admire as a batsman. AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle… I think these guys were serious powerhouses when I played against them.
On not playing IPL any more
“If I had got to play in the last IPL, which we won, that would have been an ideal send-off, but that was not to be,” Singh said.
He said he had decided a year ago that he would be playing his last edition of the IPL this year.
On playing other T20 leagues
“I would definitely want to play more cricket,” he said, adding that he was open to playing in other T20 leagues.
Singh said he would like to “go and have fun” in other T20 leagues and was hopeful of getting permission from the Indian cricket board. Singh said that he would have a word with the Indian cricket board after the announcement.
On future plans
“I will enjoy for two-three years. Don’t put me in coaching yet. I would like to come back and give something back to cricket. Hopefully will do some work with the younger generation,” he said.
“Want to dedicate my life to improve society – whether through cancer detection or cricket,” Singh said.
On the best captains he played under
I think Sourav Ganguly, under whom I started. He supported me a lot. And with MS Dhoni, I’ve won a lot of major championships, so definitely these two captains.
Ganguly was very authoritative when it came to fighting for his players. He wanted certain players in the team, like myself, Ashish [Nehra], Bhajju [Harbhajan Singh], Zaheer Khan, [Virender] Sehwag. I think he built us guys together.
Dhoni was very composed under pressure. He had a very good mind behind the stumps for how the game was going.
On who should play him in his biopic
“I think I should play myself in my biopic,” Singh said. He also said he planned to come out with an autobiography but has no plans on a biopic just yet.
When asked if he had made his peace with the sport, Singh said, “I think I made a lot of peace with the sport. When I speak about my life again…I will definitely make my peace with it,”
On advice for youngsters
Singh said that youngsters were more focussed on the T20 format thanks to the money they were making playing in tournaments like the IPL.
“I think they really need to focus on 4-day cricket and playing test cricket for India” Singh said.
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