Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
SA hero’s advice for Yuvraj
Cape Town - South African cancer survivor Dave Callaghan has provided some sage advice to Indian fellow-cricketer Yuvraj Singh, now grappling with it himself.
Callaghan, 47, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1991, but went on to represent his country in 29 one-day internationals, including a famous innings of 169 not out against New Zealand at Centurion in 1994/95.
The former Eastern Province all-rounder has suggested in the Indian media that Singh, 30, set himself a time frame for his return to cricket as a motivational device during his treatment.
Callaghan told Indian newspaper Mid-Day: “Yuvraj will do well to tell himself ‘by the end of my treatment, I would like to play, for example, next year’s Indian Premier League’.
“A target to work toward is important. I told myself (in 1991) that at the conclusion of my treatment, which was four to six months, I would like to play one first-class match again.”
By December 1992, Callaghan had achieved a lot more than that: he made his ODI debut against India at Newlands.
“Find a support group of people who have had cancer and compare notes with them.
“I know Yuvraj is a superstar in India, but an illness like this makes you understand that you are just like anyone else in the world.
“He might have doubts, like how bad is the malignancy, how far has the cancer reached, am I going to feel normal or sick after a (treatment) session?
“That’s why it’s important to have a good support group of people who have been through it all.”