| Rahul Dravid with one of the two trophies he won at the inaugural ICC awards ceremony in 2004
Calcutta: Despite having to use crutches, Yuvraj Singh is likely to attend the International Cricket Council’s annual awards ceremony in Mumbai on Friday. He’s one of the four nominees for the ODI Player of the Year.
“Initially, I wasn’t intending to go (because of the left knee injury)... Now, however, I think I will,” Yuvraj told The Telegraph when contacted on Thursday evening. He’s in Mumbai right now and may remain there till it’s known whether surgery is going to be needed.
Yuvraj got injured in Mohali last Saturday, on the eve of India’s Champions Trophy face-off with Australia. The injury wasn’t at nets, but while playing kho-kho, which formed part of the warm-up session.
“I’m not feeling any better... How can I' But, then, this is what was destined to happen...” Yuvraj remarked. For now, he’s out of the five-match ODI series in South Africa. Surgery, of course, will keep him away for much longer.
Asked if he was excited at having made the awards’ shortlist, Yuvraj replied: “It does give a nice feeling... One likes to get awards and when I’d attended the inaugural function (in London, 26 months ago), I’d hoped one day even I would be called to the stage... Seeing Rahul Dravid get awards was inspiring... I don’t know what’s in store tomorrow, though...”
Dravid, then the vice-captain, bagged the two most coveted ones: Test Player of the Year and Player of the Year (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy).
Yuvraj didn’t dwell much on the others (Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene and Michael Hussey) in contention, but did say: “People have been talking of Hussey being the favourite... He has done really well and if he does get the award, it’s going to be well deserved...”
That’s sporting with a capital S.
Dravid, meanwhile, is a strong candidate for being the Captain of the Year. Others in the running for the award instituted for the first time are: Ponting, Jayawardene and Michael Vaughan. It could be a toss-up between the latter (for his brilliant leadership in the Ashes) and Dravid.
The one other Indian in contention for an individual award is former women’s captain Anjum Chopra. The Women’s Player of the Year award, too, has been introduced this year. It’s a three-way race.
The Indian (men’s) team, by the way, is in the running for the Spirit of Cricket award. England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are also in the reckoning.