The victory over cancer has defined Yuvraj Singh of late. His survival has made him an icon for those fighting the disease. And to give hope to many others like him, the Indian cricketer on Tuesday launched his memoir — The Test of My Life — that documents his journey through cancer.
The anecdotes-filled programme was attended by the entire national cricket team, Yuvraj’s friends and mother. His team-mates spoke about their shock on learning about his germ cell cancer as well as his contribution to Indian cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar, whom Yuvraj called the inspiration behind his spectacular performance in the World Cup, said he feared he would break down when he went to meet him in London. “I told my wife I hope I don't break down. We enjoyed a meal and from the way he (Yuvraj) ate, I was convinced that he is back on track," Tendulkar said.
“I have always been very fond of him and treated him like my younger brother. I would ask god why it had to happen of all to Yuvi?”
Yuvraj, though, maintained a lighter vein throughout and even showed an audio-visual clip that captured a few funny moments during his treatment.
Ashish Nehra, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh recalled their moments with a struggling Yuvraj and recalled how they tried to keep his mind away from cancer.
Captain MS Dhoni caught the attention when he revealed that he learned about Yuvraj’s disease way before he had told him. “When his test reports came, someone told me he has cancer. I asked him twice 'are you sure?'. I was quite shocked,” said Dhoni.
The Indian skipper regaled the select gathering when he recalled how scared he was of Yuvraj when he made his debut in the Indian team in 2004.
“I remember the under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy where the Bihar team made 357 and Yuvraj 358. So the amount of runs he scored was more than the one scored by the entire team. I used to refer him as “aap”. I used to be this flamboyant cricketer who used to hit a lot of sixes and Yuvraj would come to me and say how hitting sixes won’t get me appreciation but winning the matches would,” he said.
Yuvraj recalled some funny moments of their partnerships on the middle and joked how surprised he was to receive a message from Dhoni when he was undergoing treatment in US. “I replied 'is it Dhoni?' as it is so hard to get through to him,” he said.
Dhoni admitted he was bit sceptical when Yuvraj was picked for the New Zealand Twenty20 but said it proved to be the right decision. “Yuvraj is a strong man,” he said.