I do need some serious match practice before World T20: Yuvraj Singh
New Delhi: Dreaming to play for India again, Yuvraj Singh is eyeing the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka for a comeback but admits that he needs some serious match practice to get into the groove for the rigours of international cricket.
Yuvraj, who has started training after recovering from a rare germ cell cancer, said he was not thinking of playing Test cricket as yet and was focused on making a comebck in the shorter formats.
"Ranji Trophy is after World T20. In any case, one can`t prepare for T20 playing Ranji Trophy. The serious match practice that I can get ahead of World T20 is Mon-ud Dowla Trophy and Buchi Babu tournaments but I am still not aware about the dates of these tournaments," Yuvraj told mediapersons at the launch of the "YouWeCan" campaign --- an initiative by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation to spread awareness about cancer detection.
Yuvraj did loosely refer that he might just contemplate making himself available for the limited overs version in the home series against New Zealand ahead of the World T20.
"May be I can play some matches during New Zealand`s tour of India. I really felt very motivated when chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that I am in their scheme of things for the World T20. I have been training for past one and half months and I will get better in the next two months," Yuvraj said.
Although he is thinking of making a comeback in the shorter versions, Yuvraj doesn`t want to look too far ahead as far as playing in the Test matches are concerned.
"Right now, I don`t want to think about Test matches. For me, it`s important to play any format whether T20 or limited overs. About Tests, it will depend on my form, time and fitness," he said.
The stylish left-hander said that initially it was tough on his body when he started out on his fitness programme at the National Cricket Academy, a month and half back.
"It was very tough on my body. Things improved with each and every session. The shock that body used to get reduced. Also to resume training, you need lot of strength. The body needs to get back that strength. I hope two months should be enough for comeback."
Though he has recovered from cancer, the cricketer felt that the "scars will remain forever" and he was fully aware that he has now become a role-model for patients who are fighting against the dreaded disease.
"I know I am the face of cancer patients in India. I have a responsibility towards them. It is important to send a positive message. I want to spread awareness among people suffering from cancer. I want them to be positive and they shouldn`t be afraid."
"Being a normal human being and getting to breath fresh air" is something that Yuvraj feels that he is blessed to experience after being affected by the dreaded disease."
He did admit that he was very worried about his health during the World Cup.
"I wasn`t able to sleep. I told my physio that I sensed that there was something terribly wrong with my body. Yet it was World Cup and I didn`t want to get in touch with Nitesh (oncologist Dr Nitesh Rohatgi) as he would have conducted tests, he wouldn`t allow me to play. I was praying to God that whatever happens to me, I need the World Cup."
"I never had any complaints that I was affected by cancer. It was more of a sense of disbelief than shock. It took a while to get my mind back on track," he said.
The most touching moment of the interaction came when Yuvraj revealed that how his mother came to know about his illness before him.
"When I met the doctor and he told me about my illness, the first thing that I said to him was that my mother shouldn`t be informed about it. However the doctor told me that he has informed my mother before informing me. My mother has been like a pillar of strength for me. She has taken care of me just like any mother does it for a two-year-old."
Yuvraj couldn`t forget how Anil Kumble affectionately scolded him when he was in the US to meet him.
"Anil walked into the room and saw me watching India vs Australia match on television. The first thing he told me was to switch off the TV and rest. He gave me a long lecture on how I should just leave aside everything and concentrate on my health," Yuvraj fondly recollected.
"I have learnt one lesson from this illness. I have stopped taking my health for granted. We sportsmen ignore a lot of niggles and health problems but now I would not ignore anything," he said.
He admitted that the idea to set up the Foundation came from cycling legend Lance Armstrong`s "Livestrong" project which started after seven-time Tour de France champion successfully recovered from testicular cancer.
"Lance has been a real life hero. His organisation has given me a lot of encouragement and my decision to start an awareness programme started after that. I don`t know how much cricket I will play but certainly I felt that I should do something for those who are suffering from cancer."