Indian legend Yuvraj Singh, who retired from the game during 2019 World Cup, has confirmed in a letter to the BCCI that he has made his mind up to officially come out of retirement. Yuvraj has revealed that his own form and the opportunity to help youngsters played a part in his decision.
In what could be termed as one of the biggest u-turns in Indian cricket history, all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, a year after officially announcing his retirement, has now confirmed that he is all set to comeback to the sport and play domestic cricket. Yuvraj, 38, announced his retirement in June 2019, during the World Cup, but is now said to have been swayed by both his own form with the bat and the opportunity to help youngsters out while taking up the role of a mentor.
"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 was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"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.
"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."
According to Yuvraj, it was a combination of Bali’s request and the motivation to play again and win titles for Punjab that swayed him into making a u-turn.
"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," Yuvraj points out. "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."
Yuvraj, however, confirmed that he plans to only play T20s, with his immediate focus set to be on the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, once the 2020/21 domestic season begins.
"As things stand now, I will be playing only T20s if I get the nod. But who knows, let's see."
The all-rounder, according to Cricbuzz, has communicated his decision to come out of retirement to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah and is apparently awaiting their confirmation on the same.