A battle worth fighting

Yuvi's motto
Last Updated 20 September 2013, 19:05 IST

If Yuvraj Singh’s life has to be summarised in one word that would be ‘fighter’. The man has been down and seemingly out on several occasions but he simply never gives up. If anything he comes back stronger.

The stylish left-hander was never more down in his life than when he was diagnosed with lung cancer months after his stellar exploits in the 2011 World Cup where he guided India to the coveted trophy.

His struggle with the dreaded disease has been chronicled well the past few years but his latest avatar has had everyone stand up and once again take notice of the 31-year-old.

Yuvraj has been in and out of the Indian side in the past but when he missed out on the action for nearly a year on account of his health, his career as an international cricketer seemed to have come to an abrupt end.

Everyone wrote him off but he insisted that he would return for the World T20 in 2012 in Sri Lanka, and eventually made it a reality which will be remembered for a long time to come.

“Sport and the fight against cancer are two different things. That’s what I have been trying to say for a long time. What I admire about Lance (Armstrong) is the courage and strength he showed to come back to his sport. What he did in his sport, obviously a lot of people are not happy with, but for me he is a hero for winning such a huge battle,” said Yuvraj on the sidelines of the launch of the cancer detection month by his foundation -- ‘YouWeCan’, the Indian Cancer Society and the Karnataka Cancer Society.

Although he did show signs of his former flamboyant self on his comeback, he was unable to replicate his performances consistently and was left out. Not the one to give up, Yuvraj once again jumped on the saddle and put himself through a rigorous training programme before being selected to lead India ‘A’ against West Indies ‘A’ in the three-match unofficial ODI series. With scores of 123, 40 and 61 in the series he finds himself in the reckoning for a spot in the Indian team.

When asked if and how much his fight affected his cricket, the Punjab batsman said: “It definitely affects your body. If your body is affected, your game is definitely going to get affected.

After the World Cup, I was on a high and when I was diagnosed a few months later, I experienced a real low. It’s been quite a battle and it’s been two years where I have let my body fight it to the best of its potential.

It’s been hard. It’s taken a lot of time to heal, to breathe normally and to come back. Right now, touch wood, I am in the best of fitness. So, I hope things change for me.

“It took a while to gather myself, just like any survivor will tell you. I get a lot of mails from people who say they never wanted to go through treatment but changed their approach after reading my book. Cancer is quite a low but it’s nothing to hide from, you have to fight for your life.”

(Published 20 September 2013, 19:04 IST)

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