When we think of him, the first image that flashes in our minds is the Twenty-Twenty World Cup 2007, six sixes in an over against England. The crowd went bonkers, and it went down as one the most iconic scenes in cricket.
Yuvraj started his career in International cricket in 2000, and in no time became a star. Not only cricket lovers but all of India knew him. It could be seen that every match he played, was played with sheer passion. And in 2011, he played out of his skin to bring home the most coveted World Cup after a wait of 28 long years. He would practice day and night and every time he came on the field to bat or ball, he gave his very best.
And it was during the World Cup that he would wake up in the middle of the night feeling out of breath and coughing vigorously. He let is pass at that time and went for a chest cavity scan. The results revealed a tumour, and this gave his life a sudden unexpected turn. He chose to ignore it and kept playing matches. Because for him, cricket was like breathing, and cancer meant that he would have to leave it.
But further tests said that the tumour was malignant – a germ cell called a mediastinal seminoma was diagnosed which was between his heart and left lung. It has grown to be the size of a ball. There was no second thought this time and he left for U.S for his chemotherapy.
Cancer can shake any person from head to toe, and Yuvraj too was scared. But in one of his interviews he said, “cancer does not mean death. Don’t be scared…be positive…please don’t think that your life is about to end…take the right advice and act as soon as you can…if there’s an issue with your system, don’t ignore it…look at me, I never thought I’d get the chance to again play for India, but I’ve beaten cancer…God has given me this opportunity and my love for cricket has brought me back. I see this alone as a huge achievement…the experience has made me stronger (in the mind) …if you’re strong, then you automatically become a positive person. Cancer doesn’t mean that you are going to die.”
In 2012, he bounced back and how! That year he made his comeback with Twenty-Twenty against New Zealand and continued to play his fabulous game until retiring on 10 June, this year.
People do talk a lot about being courageous during tough times, but Yuvraj Singh put life into those words. Life is really about how we decide to live, to accept defeat or stand up, fight and emerge victorious.
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