‘This game taught me to fight, I can’t explain what it really means to me’: Yuvraj Singh announces retirement

Yuvraj Singh on Monday said he is going to retire from international cricket with immediate effect.

The 37-year-old all-rounder, accompanied by his wife and mother, told reporters of his decision at a city hotel close to the Wankhede Stadium where India lifted their last 50-overs World Cup title in 2011.

Yuvraj, who played the last of his 304 one-day internationals two years ago, was a key cog in India’s World Twenty20 triumph in 2007 and was player-of-the-tournament at the World Cup in 2011.

“After 25 years, I have decided to move on. I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything and that’s why I am standing here,” he said after being reduced to tears by a video of the highlights of his career.

“It’s been a love-hate relationship. I can’t explain what it really means to me. This game taught me to fight. I have failed more times than I succeeded and I will never give up,” he said.

“I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,” he added.

Yuvraj will always be remembered as one of the finest batsmen ever to have played limited overs cricket.

Yuvraj made batting at the highest level in international cricket look effortless on his day.

Yuvraj confirmed that he will be pursuing a freelance career in ICC approved foreign Twenty20 leagues.

In his heyday, Yuvraj was one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in the game — as England’s Stuart Broad discovered when he was bludgeoned for six sixes in one over during the 2007 World Twenty20.

He was part of the victorious 2019 Mumbai Indians squad in the Indian Premier League, but played in only four matches during the campaign.

Yuvraj made an emotional return to the game in 2012 after a lengthy fight with a rare germ cell cancer in his lungs and played the last of his 40 Tests that same year.

Yuvraj last played for India in a T20I against England in 2017. His last Test appearance was back in 2012.