Gautam Gambhir is of the opinion that Yuvraj Singh, who recently wrote to the BCCI that he officially wants to come out of retirement, has every right to return to the sport and is ‘most welcome’ to make a comeback. Gambhir feels that it’s up to the people to respect Yuvraj’s personal decision.
On Wednesday, legendary all-rounder Yuvraj Singh shook the Indian cricketing fraternity by expressing his desire to officially come back to the sport and represent Punjab in domestic cricket. Yuvraj, 38, who announced his retirement during the 2019 World Cup, revealed that the prospect of winning trophies for Punjab whilst also mentoring youngsters was an opportunity too enticing for him to turn down and revealed that the words of Puneet Bali, the secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association, played a hand in convincing him to return the sport.
While the decision has pleasantly surprised many, it has also bewildered a few, but the Punjab star’s former national teammate Gautam Gambhir feels Yuvraj has every right to return and play the sport. Gambhir, who retired some 8 months prior to Yuvraj, stated that the veteran is ‘most welcome’ to come back and represent Punjab.
"It's his personal decision and each and everyone loves seeing Yuvi play,” Gambhir told ANI.
“If he wants to play for Punjab, so why not! You can't force a cricketer to start or to end; and if he wants to come back from retirement and play with motivation, he is most welcome."
The COVID-19 virus has already jolted the IPL, with the news of 13 CSK personnel testing positive creatic panic amongst everyone inside and outside the bubble, but Gambhir, who a few months ago stated that cricketers will have to ‘learn to live with the virus’, opined that the virus won’t ‘scare’ the players. The southpaw, however, emphasized the need for players to strictly adhere to the protocols.
"I don't think that players will be afraid of it. It is important to be in the bio-secure bubble and follow the guidelines. Just because of one person, the tournament can't be sacrificed. So it is important to follow the instructions and guidelines,” said the 38-year-old.
A two-time IPL-winning captain with Kolkata Knight Riders, the southpaw noted that it would be vitally important for teams, this year, to get off the blocks quickly. The 38-year-old, whose last IPL appearance came in 2018 for Delhi Capitals, also claimed that rust might be a factor, especially amongst Indian players, but added that everyone will get a clearer picture once the tournament commences.
"IPL is a kind of tournament where any team can beat the other team. The most important thing is how you start the journey. Also, the Indian players haven't played any cricket for the last six months, so whether they are rusty or not will be known once the tournament starts.”