Former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to retire Number 12 jersey as a tribute to the recently-retired Yuvraj Singh.
In his column for The Times of India, Gambhir recently wrote that September continues to hold a special place in his heart for it was during this month 12 years ago that India had won their first World Cup in seniors’ cricket since Kapil’s Devils accomplished their feat in 1983.
It was on September 24, 2007, that India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in the final of the inaugural T20 World Cup under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Gambhir scored 75 runs in that final off just 54 balls – the highest in the match. Yuvraj, too, had a world-beating moment in the same tournament when he had smashed six sixes in one over during the match against England.
“The month of September, meanwhile, has special emotions for me. It was in this month in 2007 that we won the ICC T20 World Cup. The incredible Yuvraj Singh was in his elements. Just for the performance in that tournament and in the 2011 World Cup, I’d urge BCCI to retire the number 12 jersey that he wore. It will be a fitting tribute to a once-in-a-lifetime cricketer,” Gambhir wrote in his column.
Yuvraj scored 148 runs in five innings at a staggering strike rate of 195 plus. Gambhir himself scored 227 runs in that edition, including three fifties, and ended up as the second-highest run-getter after Australia’s Matthew Hayden. “Overall, our win typified how ‘keeping-it-simple’ works. Perhaps playing the inaugural T20 World Cup worked for us,” Gambhir added.
He also mentioned that as a team they were only concerned about the present and were not too bothered about how the rest of the tournament panned out.
“We didn’t know what was coming. Hence, rather than worrying about the future we concentrated on the next delivery. I remember asking my dear friend Yuvraj the secret of hitting those six sixes against England. Prince – as I call him fondly – said, “Gauti yaar buss ho gaya (it just happened), I never planned. What Yuvraj is saying is he kept it simple. He batted with a clear mind,” he further wrote in his column.
“Congratulations Prince @YUVSTRONG12 on a wonderful career. You were the best ever white ball cricketer India had. @BCCI should retire Number 12 jersey in the tribute to your career. Wish I could bat like you Champion #Yuvrajsinghretires #ThankYouYuvraj #ThankYouYuvi,” Gambhir earlier wrote in his Twitter post.
Congratulations Prince @YUVSTRONG12 on a wonderful career. You were the best ever white ball cricketer India had. @BCCI should retire Number 12 jersey in the tribute to your career. Wish I could bat like you Champion #Yuvrajsinghretires #ThankYouYuvraj #ThankYouYuvi
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 10, 2019