Recently retired India all-rounder and Yuvraj Singh was snapped up by Toronto Nationals in the player draft for the 2019 Global T20 Canada league on Thursday.
Yuvraj has announced his retirement from international and IPL cricket earlier this month, bringing an end to a 17-year-long international career.
Yuvraj was a key member of India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winning teams. His decision to retire has paved the way for appearances in various T20 tournaments across the globe as he is no longer employed by the BCCI and does not need a clearance to play outside India – as every Indian cricketer with a contract does.
Yuvraj’s Mumbai Indians team-mate Kieron Pollard, former India team-mate Manpreet Gony and Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane will be among his team-mates at Toronto.
The 2019 Global T20 Canada will be the second edition of the tournament . The tournament is scheduled to start on July 25, right after the end of the ongoing World Cup. Vancouver Knights are the defending champions.
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal believes his side are the favourites for the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup against West Indies at Taunton on Monday.
Both Bangladesh and Windies are identically placed after three matches apiece in the tournament and head into Monday’s clash with three points each in their kitty.
While the Caribbean side have historically been the more dominant side, it is Bangladesh who have had the upper hand in the past one year with the Tigers winning seven out of the nine most recent ODI meetings against Windies.
That included victory in the final of the recent ODI tri-series in England and these displays have convinced Tamim that Bangladesh go into Monday’s clash as the favourites.
“Of course, why not? We have won more than them in the recent past. We can be favourites, of course,” the Bangladesh stalwart was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“In Ireland, we won all three matches against them. It does not matter to me who are favourites and who are not.
“Cricket is such a game that whoever brings the ‘A’ game has a chance on that particular day. That is the case for any team in this World Cup.”
The Bangladesh opener is also prepared for a barrage of bouncers from the Windies pacers at Taunton based on the tactics the Caribbean side have adopted so far in the World Cup.
The Windies pace battery has used the short-ball to lethal effect in the tournament and it was most evident in their campaign opener where they bowled out Pakistan for just 105 runs.
“We normally try to simulate in the nets what our opponents are likely to do,” said Tamim.
“They usually target us with the short ball but they do the same against all sides in the first ten to 15 overs. They also give run-scoring opportunities.
“We have to prepare for both, that’s why we are working hard in practice. We want to make sure it is not a surprise for us.”
The stylish left-handed all-rounder reached lofty heights ever since making his India debut as a teenager in 2000 with several iconic moments marking his long journey in international cricket.
Here, we look back at the five most iconic moments of Yuvraj’s international career.
MAKES WAVES IN DEBUT TOURNAMENT
Handed his India debut as a teenager by Sourav Ganguly in the 2000 Champions Trophy in Kenya, Yuvraj wasted no time in announcing his prodigious talent on the international stage.
In only his second match in India colours, the southpaw went on to score a math-winning 84 off just 80 deliveries to help Ganguly’s men beat Australia in the quarter-final of the tournament.
Showing no fear against an Aussie bowling attack comprising of Glenn Mcgrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie, Yuvraj’s sparkling innings showed that the teenager was destined for big things to come.
YUVRAJ-KAIF LEAD INDIA TO MEMORABLE NATWEST TRIUMPH
Just two years after making his debut, Yuvraj found himself taking centerstage in India’s sensational run-chase against England in the final of the NatWest tri-series at Lord’s.
Centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain saw the hosts pile up a mammoth 325-5 after batting first at Lord’s before India found themselves staring down the barrel at 146-5.
With the side’s main batsmen back in the shed, all hope seemed to be lost for Ganguly’s men before Yuvraj and Mohammad Kaif forged a 121-run stand for the sixth wicket.
India would ultimately go on to clinch the match in dramatic style in the final over with a young Yuvraj contributing with a 63-ball 69.
SIX SIXES IN AN OVER
In the inaugural World Twenty20 (now T20 World Cup) in South Africa in 2007, Yuvraj achieved one of the rarest feats in international cricket by smashing six sixes in a single over.
It came in India’s clash against England at Durban with Stuart Broad being the unfortunate bowler at the receiving end. That sensational assault saw Yuvraj bring up a 12-ball half century and it still stands as the record for the fastest ever T20I fifty.
Yuvraj’s ridiculous hitting did not just end there with the left-hander smashing a blazing 70 against Australia in the semi-final of the tournament India would ultimately go on to win.
SCORES CAREER-BEST 150 AGAINST ENGLAND
Yuvraj has enjoyed a stellar ODI career over the years with 8,701 runs in 304 matches which contained 14 centuries and 52 fifties. It was his 14th and final ODI ton which turned out to be his best-ever display in the format with England once again facing the wrath of his monstrous hitting.
In the second ODI between India and England at Cuttack in 2017, the hosts found themselves in trouble at the start after being reduced to 25-3. However, Yuvraj and Dhoni turned the game on its head with a 256-run partnership that helped India ultimately amass 381-6 in their 50 overs.
Yuvraj scored 150 of those runs off just 127 deliveries with India going on to win the match narrowly by just 15 runs. It came at a time when his career was on its last legs with the batsman going on to play nine more ODIs for his country subsequently.
MVP OF INDIA’S 2011 WORLD CUP TRIUMPH
Yuvraj’s crowning achievement as an India player came in the 2011 World Cup where his all-round displays led the charge to a title in front of home fans. The southpaw was excellent with both bat and ball throughout the tournament and deservedly finished as the man of the tournament.
Yuvraj picked up 15 wickets while scoring 362 runs with the bat and was awarded the man-of-the-match on four separate occasions. He delivered in critical moments for the team in their run to the final in Mumbai and was fittingly at the crease when MS Dhoni hit the World Cup winning six against Sri Lanka.
That those displays came after what had been a lean spell for Yuvraj made it all the more special.