A big favourite of Indian cricket fans (and especially the female cricket fans), the beloved Yuvi made his one day International debut against Kenya at Nairobi in 2000, at the ICC KnockOut Trophy. He showed his potential in his second ODI which was against the Australians where he scored a quick fire 84 off 82 balls against a quality pace attack consisting of bowlers like Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie. However, after a lean run of form, he was dropped for the one-day against Australia in India in early 2001, but returned later in the year and helped India to victory in a match in Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 98.
Born on 12 December 1981 in a Punjabi Jat family from Chandigarh, Yuvraj is the son of former Indian fast bowler and Punjabi movie star Yograj Singh. He has been a member of the Indian cricket team since 2000 and played his first test match in 2003. He was the vice captain of the ODI team from late 2007 to late 2008. At the 2007 Twenty-Twenty World Cup he hit six sixes in an over against England's Stuart Broad—a feat performed only three times previously in any form of senior cricket and never previously in an international match between two test cricket nations.
One of his most memorable innings was a partnership with Mohammad Kaif in the NatWest Series final against England in July 2002 which led India to victory. He was selected and represented India at the 2003 Cricket World Cup. He scored his first century in his fourth season with the Indian team against Bangladesh in 2003. After that he also scored hundreds against Zimbabwe and Australia, including a 139 off 119 balls at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the Indian Oil Cup 2005, he made 110 off 114 balls and an important partnership worth 165 runs with Mohammad Kaif to become the man of the match against West Indies.
Yuvraj Singh had a good run of form late in 2005 and early in 2006, in the ODI format. He was named as the man of the series in three consecutive series, against South Africa (joint with Graeme Smith), and then against Pakistan and England, in which he scored three centuries and four half-centuries in fifteen matches, which propelled him into the top ten of the ICC ODI batting rankings. During the Pakistan tour, at times when captain and vice-captain Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag were absent, Yuvraj was the on-field captain, indicating that he may be seen as a potential captain. In the next series in the West Indies, Yuvraj hit two fifties in four games, even though India lost the series 4-1. His performance was recognised with his short listing by the ICC as one of four nominees for the International One Day player of the year award.
Yuvi – the batting maestro, the bowling king and also a style icon has something more to his credit that his fans should know. The Yuvraj Singh Foundation (YSF) is an initiative of Yuvraj who has long been associated with multiple charities. Established in February 2009, the YSF believes that ‘All children should have access to Sports, Health & Education facilities. Additionally it is our responsibility to protect and conserve the environment for future generations to enjoy.’
YSF uses the power of stardom to facilitate funds for initiatives that apply to its S.H.E.E. (Sports, Health, Education & Environmental development) model which works along two verticals:
- To provide underprivileged children with the opportunity to enjoy their childhood and
- To sponsor exceptional emerging sporting talent.
YSF partners with NGOs working at the community level, identifies change agents to promote its selected causes and raises financial, technical and human resources to support project impact agenda.
So, this is Yuvraj Singh for you. A young gun of Indian cricket squad that shows its power and range frequently and apart from being a youth icon sets out an example for Indian youth to be a committed and responsible citizen.