Visakhapatnam: “Yeah, I’m disappointed, but I’m sure the wait will be fruitful...”
That was Yuvraj Singh’s SMS to The Telegraph some 90 minutes after the first T20 International against New Zealand, which was to have been his comeback match, was called off without a ball being bowled.
All thanks to the weather, which had actually been perfect till about an hour before the scheduled 7.00 pm start on Saturday.
“Yuvi’s sad... It turned out to be such a disappointing day... We wanted to see him on the park, but that wasn’t to be,” is how mother Shabnam reacted, on returning to the absolutely stunning Novotel Varun Beach, a hotel which is yet to complete a year.
Shabnam (the Team Yuvraj captain) was accompanied by around 20 “close friends” of Yuvraj, most of whom had come over from Mumbai and New Delhi.
Asked if she’d now change plans and head to Chennai, for the second and final T20 International, on Tuesday, Shabnam said: “I really don’t know... If the weather is going to be like this, then there’s no point.”
The weather, by the way, has been iffy in Chennai too.
It would have been much easier on Yuvraj had the match not been washed out. There’s the pressure bit, after all.
“Yes, Yuvraj may keep thinking about his comeback which has been delayed, but the good thing is that he’s back in the mix of it all... He’s played enough cricket, over a dozen years, to handle this situation,” observed former India captain Ravi Shastri.
The two T20 Internationals are to be followed by the World T20, in Sri Lanka, so the opportunities are important.
Yuvraj’s last India appearance was as far back as November 2011, soon after which he was off to the UK and the US for tests and chemotherapy, respectively. He returned on April 9.
But it’s not that Yuvraj didn’t step on to the Dr YSR Stadium turf.
In fact, after the match was called off, the Andhra Cricket Association gifted a memento and, in an equally nice gesture, Yuvraj did the equivalent of a lap of honour (in the drizzle) to thank the thousands who’d largely turned up to see him.
Yuvraj went around barefeet, drawing cheers from every stand. Today, he’s not only a top-draw cricketer, but a hugely inspirational figure, who beat cancer.