Kolkata: He played a pivotal role in India’s two World Cup triumphs. However, Yuvraj Singh rues that he could never settle with any particular team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) despite being among the most sought after for the better part of his career.
The swashbuckling allrounder, who retired last month with a glittering career behind him, represented six different franchises and was part of two IPL winning teams — Sunrisers Hyderabad (2016) and Mumbai Indians (2019).
In the 2014 auctions, Yuvraj was the most expensive player in the history of the IPL after Royal Challengers Bangalore won an intense bid with Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping Rs 14 crore.
But the 37-year-old never got identified with a team like Chennai Super Kings’ iconic captain MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore. “I can’t explain but I was never settled with a franchise… I didn’t really get settled where you are made to play for one franchise or maybe two,” Yuvraj said after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 91st annual general meeting of the Indian Chambers of Commerce here.
“I almost joined KKR but last moment (in the auctions) I went to RCB. I probably had my best IPL season with RCB. It was unfortunate not to come to KKR though,” he recalled.
Yuvraj was instrumental in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s maiden and only IPL triumph in 2016 but the stylish allrounder went unsold in the first round of bidding for this year’s IPL before being sold to Mumbai at his base price of Rs 1 crore.
“I can’t really complain about it. It was great working with all these teams. Being with Mumbai Indians and winning the championship, and also winning for Sunrisers was a great experience,” Yuvraj, who played four matches for Mumbai this season, said.
Yuvraj had taken the inaugural World Twenty20 by storm, smashing six sixes in a row against English pacer Stuart Broad in their triumphant campaign in 2007.
“The inaugural World Twenty in 2007 changed world cricket especially in T20. It was just my day. The fifth ball was a yorker and still, I managed to hit that out of the park. It was my day,” said Yuvraj, who was also the Player of the tournament during India’s 2011 World Cup triumph.
“It was a phenomenal tournament, it took cricket to the next level. Absolutely nobody was expecting us to win it. We played fearless cricket. We had a new captain. We lost a few crucial games and had to win all three to get to the finals. We just went and expressed ourselves.”
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