Yuvraj Singh is a left-handed middle-order batsman for India in international cricket who can also throw occasional left-arm orthodox spin. He represents Punjab in domestic cricket, participates in every format of the game for the national team, and is presently a member of Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. He has previously worked with several IPL teams and supported Sunrisers Hyderabad in their first championship defense. Being the son of a former cricketer for India, he picked up the sport at a young age and advanced quickly through the youth ranks to win a spot on the national squad. He has repeatedly shown his value to the squad despite moments of inconsistency and saved India with game-winning performances. His career came to a sudden stop after he was diagnosed with cancer, but he successfully fought the illness and made a strong return to cricket, the details of which he documented in the autobiographical book, ‘The Test of My Life’. He is the founder of the YouWeCan charity, which has helped hundreds of people with cancer over the years.
Early Childhood & Life
Yograj Singh and Shabnam Singh welcomed Yuvraj Singh into the world on December 12, 1981, in Chandigarh, India. His father represented India in international cricket as a fast spinner. He chose to move in with his mother after his parents got separated.
He practiced cricket with his father and attended Chandigarh’s DAV Public School. He was also excellent at tennis and roller skating, but his father reportedly told him to concentrate on cricket after he won the National Under-14 Roller Skating Championship.
The career of Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh made his first-class debut in the 1997–98 Ranji Trophy after making his Punjab Under-16s debut in 1995–96, one month before turning 14 years old. The following season, he was promoted to the U19 squad. In the Cooch Behar Trophy Final in 1999, he outscored Bihar 357 to 358 and went on to win “Player of the Tournament” honors at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2000.
He was selected for the Indian team for the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy as a result of his all-around success for the U-19 team, and he made his ODI debut against Kenya on October 3rd, 2000. When he scored 84 against Australia and 41 and got one wicket against South Africa, he won the “Man of the Match” award. However, he was dropped after a poor showing in the subsequent Tri Series.
Upon his comeback, he played against Sri Lanka in the 2001 Coca-Cola Cup, scoring 98 runs in one game while taking 8 wickets overall. He lost his shape and was removed from the Indian team. In March 2002, he returned to domestic cricket and made 209 in the Duleep Trophy. He was called up to the national squad when India was trailing Zimbabwe in a one-day series by a score of 1-2 and contributed two match-winning knocks of 80 and 75 in the last two games.
After another disappointing series against the West Indies, he played well with both the bat and the ball in the 2002 NatWest Series against England and Sri Lanka. He scored 69 in the final match against England, partnering with Mohammad Kaif for 121 runs, helping India effectively chase down 326 for one of their greatest ODI victories.
He made a few quick fiftys to help India win the following matches leading up to the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, and on April 11, 2003, he hit his first century against Bangladesh. After Sachin Tendulkar, he was the second Indian cricketer to be recruited by Yorkshire County Cricket Club in May 2003.
On October 16, 2003, he faced New Zealand in his first Test match, but he struggled to produce strong performances both in the Test and the ensuing TVS Cup ODI tri-series. After a disappointing ODI series against Pakistan, he found his form again in the tri-series against Australia and Zimbabwe, scoring 314 runs. He also made his first century and half-century in the Test series.
His performance in ODIs and Tests began to decline toward the close of 2004, but in the middle of the 2005 Indian Oil Cup triangular series, he emerged as India’s top run-scorer. In the years that followed, he maintained his strong play, getting six hundreds in ODIs and two in Tests in addition to numerous fifty-plus knocks that helped India recover from shaky starts.
He was chosen as the vice-captain of the Indian squad for the first ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in September 2007. He made the tournament memorable by hitting six sixes in a single Stuart Broad over. Following his selection as the ODI team’s vice-captain, he had a successful series against Pakistan, hitting four fifties in ODIs and a career-high 169 in Tests.
His best effort came at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he amassed 362 runs—including a century and four fifty-pluses—and claimed 15 wickets to win Player of the Tournament. But before he could return to the field for the ICC World Twenty20 in September 2012, he had to undergo months of therapy for a stage-1 cancerous tumor in the lung.
Despite taking the most wickets during the World Twenty20 competition, he struggled at the plate. With the exception of a few fifty-plus scores, he did not take advantage of his chances in Tests or limited-over games either. However, he was recalled for the 2014 World Twenty20, where he was able to form several significant partnerships.
He was passed over for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but his outstanding performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy earned him a spot back in the T20 squad for India’s visit of Australia in January 2016. He was chosen for the ODI series against England in January 2017 after scoring 672 runs in five Ranji Trophy games. He won the ‘Player of the Match’ title for his career-high 150 runs.
IPL career of Yuvraj Singh
In the first season of the IPL, Yuvraj Singh was the captain of Kings XI Punjab. He scored his first T20 hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore in May 2009 and another one the following month against Deccan Chargers. In the ensuing seasons, he played for a number of different teams, but in the 2016 season, when Sunrisers Hyderabad triumphed, he was most successful.
Recognition & Achievements
Yuvraj Singh scored the fastest half-century in the history of the ICC World Twenty20 by hitting six sixes off Stuart Broad during a match against England in 2007.
In 2012 and 2014, the Indian government presented him with the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri Award, respectively.
Personal Legacy & Life
On November 12, 2015, Yuvraj Singh proposed to British-Mauritian actor and model Hazel Keech. She took the name Gurbasant Kaur after their lavish 10-day wedding celebration on November 30, 2016.