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World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh draws curtain on International career
Yuvraj Retires

World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh draws curtain on International career

Yuvraj Singh, arguably one of India's all-time greatest all-rounders in white-ball cricket and winner of two World Cup titles, has formally announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"It was a great roller coaster ride and beautiful story but it has to come to an end. It was the right time to go," an emotional Yuvraj told reporters in Mumbai.

Yuvraj made a name for himself owing to his power hitting credentials - most memorably striking six sixes in an over versus England's Stuart Broad during the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.

"I have been playing international cricket on and off for 17 years. Now it is time to say goodbye," he said, holding back tears as he faced the press.

"Cricket has given me everything and that's why I am standing here," he said.

"It's been a love-hate relationship. It taught me how to fall, how to fight, how to get up again.

"I am proud of what I have achieved on and off the field."

Having accumulated 14 centuries across 304 one-day internationals, Yuvraj formed the crux of India's strong middle order for close to two decades as he batted with unmatched flair and aggression.

'I did not let cancer defeat me'

The most glorious moment in Yuvraj's career came during the 2011 World Cup when he played a pivotal role in India's successful campaign and was duly crowned player of the tournament having amassed four fifties and a century.

Soon after, the left-hand batsman was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer and had to undergo rigorous chemotherapy sessions to recover.

"It was a harsh reality...(but) I was not going to let that disease defeat me," he said.

Always determined to never give up, Yuvraj inspirationally fought cancer to stage a comeback to the national side.

However, the disease had taken a toll on Singh's batting form and overall fitness, as he was unable to match previous levels of athleticism and run-scoring.

Yuvraj's career reached another low point when he failed to get going in the all-important World T20 final against Sri Lanka in 2014 as his team crashed to a six-wicket defeat.

"I scored 11 off 21 balls. It was so shattering that I felt my career was over."

'My life has been a roller-coaster ride'

Despite the constant setbacks, Singh did not concede defeat and continued to work hard.

He was recalled to the national squad to strengthen India's fragile middle order in 2017 and found himself included in the Champions Trophy.

He ends his glitzy career at 8,701 runs from 304 ODIs and 111 wickets while he was a dynamic fielder usually positioned at point, underscoring his ability to be a true all-round package.

Singh could not replicate his stunning ODI numbers into Test cricket, managing to represent his team in just 40 games in the red-ball format.

"My life has been like a roller coaster ride. Winning the World Cup (in 2011) and being named the man of the series was like a dream," Singh said as his family members accompanied him during his press conference.

Yuvraj's IPL statistics don't do enough justice to his talent as he averaged 24.77 in 132 matches, but he still ended up being the most expensive player in the auctions twice across twelve editions of the tournament.

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