Yuvraj Singh at the launch of YOUWECAN in New Delhi
Calcutta, Aug.11: Come December, In Different Form will hit the stands. It won’t be just another book, but is going to chronicle Yuvraj Singh’s inspirational fight with cancer.
“The release is set for the end of December and the book is being published by Random House,” an associate of Yuvraj told The Telegraph this evening.
Speaking from New Delhi, the associate added: “Yuvraj has battled cancer very bravely and has been open about it... He didn’t withdraw himself from the public eye... The book tells Yuvraj’s story, of everything he experienced from last November... It’s not about cricket, but life.”
Lance Armstrong, whom Yuvraj admires for the way he fought testicular cancer around a decade and a half ago, has also written about his very personal battle in It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, an international bestseller.
Given Yuvraj’s following across the cricketing world, his publishers too are sitting on a gold mine. Significantly, a “percentage” of the earnings from the book will go to YOUWECAN, launched by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation last month.
YOUWECAN is there to “provide knowledge” about cancer, help with “medical resources” and extend “financial support” to the less privileged.
Diagnosed with a rare form of germ cell cancer, Yuvraj went to the US in January for three sessions of chemotherapy and is less than a month away from a remarkable comeback at the international level.
There was, after all, a time when it seemed the 30-year-old’s career was over.
Indeed, last evening, after being named in India’s T20 squad for the two Internationals against New Zealand and the World T20, Yuvraj told this reporter: “It has been such an emotional day... I never expected this to come about when I was diagnosed with cancer...”
So much so that Yuvraj’s feelings are as if he’s going to make his debut! That he did in Nairobi, 12 years ago, bagging the MoM award in his very second match (against the then 50-over world champions Australia).
Right through his career, Yuvraj has been labelled a limited overs specialist, but he’d scripted a terrific Test hundred on a most lively first-day Gaddafi track eight years ago. Umar Gul, for one, had been unplayable.
YOUWECAN, meanwhile, intends starting its first cancer detection centre in Gurgaon, around the same time as the book’s release. Why Gurgaon? Because, when in India, Yuvraj spends most of his time there.
Those lacking the means won’t have to pay a rupee for the tests at the centre while those who can afford, will be charged.
Imran Khan’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore, an internationally acclaimed facility, began on the same model around the mid-1990s.
“The Indian Cancer Society has come on board as our knowledge partner and is going to handle the operational aspect of the centre,” Yuvraj’s associate informed.
Spreading “awareness” will be a key element. The earlier the detection of cancer, the better the chances of recovery.
According to the associate, the Foundation is also in “talks” with hospital chains for cancer detection centres across India.
Launched in South Africa during IPL-II (2009), the Foundation began with very different objectives. Now, there’s a fresh dimension to its activities.
Having wowed millions with his on-field performances, most notably in the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj is out to make a difference on an entirely different pitch.
Trust him to deliver.