Former India batsman Yuvraj Singh can make a sensational u-turn and return to domestic circuit if everything falls into place. He could return to action playing at least T20 cricket for Punjab when the much delayed domestic season kicks off. At present, there is very little clarity over when will the season start due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yuvraj Singh retired from all forms of the game in June 2019 and had later obtained No Objection Certificate from the BCCI to play in Canada and Abu Dhabi. The legendary batsman has rediscovered his hunger for the game again and is now eyeing a sensational return for Punjab.
He rediscovered his hunger for batting after spending a fair bit of time in the last few months working with the young Punjab quartet of Shubman Gill, Abhishek Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh and Anmolpreet Singh at the PCA Stadium in Mohali at the behest of the Punjab Cricket Association.
“I enjoyed spending time with these youngsters, and talking to them about various aspects of the game, I realised that they were able to pick up various things that I was telling them,” Yuvraj Singh said as he confirmed his comeback plans.
“I had to get into the nets to show them a few other elements, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was hitting the ball even though I hadn’t held a bat for a really long time,” he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
He revealed how he scored runs during practice matches which made PCA secretary Puneet Bali asked him to reconsider coming out of the retirement. He stated that he was initially reluctant to play in domestic cricket as he was willing to play in overseas leagues. But after a long consideration, he decided to play for Punjab again. The motivation to help Punjab win trophies was another factor behind his decision.
“I also trained for those two months, and then I started to bat in the off-season camp. I made runs in some of the practice matches. Mr Puneet Bali, the secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association, approached me after one of the sessions and asked me if I would reconsider coming out of retirement,” he said.
“Initially, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to take up the offer. I was done with domestic cricket, though I did want to continue to play in other domestic franchise-based leagues worldwide if I got permission from the BCCI. But I also couldn’t ignore Mr Bali’s request. I gave it a lot of thought, for nearly three or four weeks, and it was almost as if I didn’t even have to make a conscious decision in the end.
“The motivation is to help Punjab win championships. Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh), myself, we have won tournaments, but we haven’t done it together for Punjab, so that was a big factor in my final call. Obviously, Shubman is already playing for India, and I feel there’s plenty of potential in the other three boys. If I can contribute in any way to their development and to the development of Punjab cricket, then that will be wonderful. After all, playing for Punjab is what paved the way for my international career,” he added.
Once he was convinced that he still has something to offer with the bat, he did not wait in sending a mail to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, seeking their permission to come out of retirement. In his letter, he also it clear that if he can play for Punjab again, he will obviously not pursue his options of playing for India again. The BCCI is yet to respond to his letter,
“As things stand now, I will be playing only T20s if I get the nod,” Yuvraj Singh said. “But who knows, let’s see.”
Yuvraj Singh retired from international cricket as one of India’s greatest-ever match-winners. He ended his career with an outstanding ODI record of 8701 runs — 22nd in the overall list, and seventh among Indians — at an average of 36.55 and 111 wickets.