Cricket

Yuvraj plots 2012 return

2012-06-20 17:48
Yuvraj Singh (File)

New Delhi - India World Cup star Yuvraj Singh hopes to return to playing cricket this year after recovering from cancer.

Singh, named the player of the World Cup last year, concedes his comeback will not be easy after treatment for a rare germ cell cancer near his lungs.

"Playing for India is going to be a huge challenge for me because the body has been under a lot of shock which nobody can understand except me. Only a cancer patient can understand what he is going through," Singh told the "ICC Cricket 360" TV show to be broadcast on Thursday.

"So it's going to be a big challenge for me to come back and play for India again."

Singh, who last played for India in a home Test series against the West Indies in November, has featured in 37 Tests, 274 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 matches since his international debut in 2000.

He has started light training, and hoped he'll be back in pads by around the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September-October.

"Actually I don't want to rush and I don't want to come back at 75 percent fitness," he said. "I might take six months, I might take two months. So I don't know. But the day I feel 100 percent, I surely will be back."

Singh said it had been difficult to come to terms with his illness.

"Initially it was hard to accept that a guy like me who is training six to seven hours a day, running around all the time as an athlete, can get diagnosed with something like this. It took a long time to sink in but eventually I made peace with it. I knew I had an issue and I had to sort it out."

He showed signs of the illness during the World Cup 14 months ago, which India won on home soil.

Singh, who underwent chemotherapy in the US, said he had been touched by the support of fans.

"The support was overwhelming, especially from India.," he said. "One of the students from a college in Indianapolis came to see me and I felt like I was in India. I just want to thank everybody for their support and for their care. I went through chemotherapy which is hard for everybody but the wishes and the love is what made me come back.

"I've done six or seven sessions of very light training and light yoga. I'm just getting back into the groove of being a normal person, breathe normally, which is a lot of excitement and fun for me at the moment."

Singh smashed a world record six sixes off an over from England pace bowler Stuart Broad during the 2007 World Twenty20 which India won, and wished he could be part of India's title defence.

"I think (the) favourites are India because we've got the biggest hitters - biggest hitters in town that's what I want to say," Singh said. "Hopefully I should be back by then.

"I'm not saying I'm the reason, it's just that I feel we have the strongest side and if we can sort our bowling out in T20 I'm sure we can be a strong unit. There are other strong teams like Australia, South Africa which always compete at the top level at world events," Singh said.

Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan are among the known big-hitting batsmen expected to be picked by India for the World Twenty20 scheduled from September 18-October 7.

Read more on:    yuvraj singh  |  cricket
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