While announcing his retirement from international cricket, Yuvraj Singh revealed that six months after he played what ended up being his final game for India, in West Indies in June 2017, the BCCI offered him the opportunity to play a farewell game if he failed the ‘Yo-Yo’ fitness test.
“Mujhe bola gaya tha agar aapse ‘Yo Yo’ test pass nahi hota toh aap retirement match khel sakate ho (I was told that if you are not able to pass the ‘Yo Yo’ test, I would get a farewell game),” the 37-year-old said at an emotional press conference to announce his decision to quit competitive cricket.
His contemporary Virender Sehwag has earlier spoken about the pain of not getting a farewell game but Yuvraj said he did not want one. Even greats like Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir did not get the farewell games they deserved.
“I did not tell anyone in BCCI that I have to play the last match. Agar main accha tha, potential tha toh main ground pe se chale jaata. (If I was good enough, I would have retired from the ground). Aur mujhe is tarha ki cricket khelna pasand nahi hai, ki mujhe ek match chahiye (I don’t like to ask for a game, I have never played the game with that mindset),” he said.
“Toh maine us time bola ki mujhe retirement match nahi chahiye, ‘Yo Yo’ test pass nahi hoga toh main chup chaap ghar chale jaunga, ‘Yo Yo’ test pass kiya (I told them I don’t need the game, if I don’t pass the Yo-Yo test, I’ll go home quietly. I passed the Yo-Yo Test) and rest is not my call,” he added.
A ‘Yo-Yo’ test involves a player sprinting between two cones that are set 20 metres apart on the sound of a beep. It is used to measure an athlete’s endurance.
When asked for his thoughts on the test, which must be cleared to make into the Indian cricket team right now, Yuvraj gave a guarded reply leaving the details for the future.
“See I am sure now I’ll have a lot of time to discuss these things, I’ll have a lot to say. I am not saying right now because India is playing the World Cup. And I don’t want any controversies over the players.
“I want the players to be in the best space, to go in the last four, so I am sure my time will come to speak and I don’t want be in that space I have retired in the World Cup, I have just retired because I want to move on in my life,” said the hero of 2011 World Cup.
Yuvraj, who won his second IPL title with Mumbai Indians earlier this year, also told the media that he had spoken to the BCCI about permission for taking part in foreign T20 leagues like Global T20 Canada and Euro T20 Slam.
“I want to go and play T20 cricket. At this age, I can play some kind of fun cricket, I want to go and enjoy my life. I don’t care about pressure and performing in big tournaments like IPL. With BCCI permission, I would love to go and play,” Yuvraj said.
“It’s been long and hard journey, I think I deserve that. I have had a word with BCCI and obviously I’ll have another word after this announcement. Hopefully it will be easy sailing for me,” he added further.