Yuvraj Singh opened up on how Sachin Tendulkar inspired him to make a comeback to international cricket post his battle with cancer.
The former India left-handed batsman was the Player of the Tournament in the World Cup 2011 but was diagnosed with cancer soon after. He fought it successfully and made a comeback to the Indian team in September 2012, before playing on for five more years.
"There were a few ups and downs. I kept on speaking to Sachin, and he said, ‘Why do we play cricket? Yes, we want to play international but we play for the love of the sport. If you love the game, you want to play’," Yuvraj told Sportskeeda.
"Sachin said, ‘If I was in the situation, I wouldn’t know what to do but if you love the game, you still play the game and decide when you want to retire. People should not decide that for you’."
Yuvraj was a part of the Indian team for the ICC T20 World Cup 2014 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, both tournaments in which India reached the final to be runners-up.
"So I had some good chats with him (Sachin) and played 3-4 years of domestic cricket. I was in and out of the Indian team, played the T20 World Cup. I made a few comebacks but it was time to move on because my body was not the same after cancer.
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"But I still managed to come back and score my highest ODI score. I just wanted to be happy in my life. I wanted to be at peace and have no regrets, so I moved on."
Yuvraj said the board had mismanaged his career towards the end.
“I just felt that the way they managed me towards the end of my career was very unprofessional. But looking back at a couple of great players like Harbhajan, Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, also very badly mismanaged. So it is part of Indian cricket, I had seen it in the past and I was not really surprised,” Yuvraj added.
“But in the future, anybody who has played for India for a long time and has been through tough situations, you should definitely honour him.
"Give him that respect, somebody like Gautam Gambhir, who has won two World Cups for us. Sehwag, who has been the biggest match-winner after Sunil Gavaskar in Tests. VVS, Zaheer, also."
Yuvraj played 304 ODIs, 58 T20Is, and 40 Tests. He would go down as one of the most successful white-ball players for India in history.