Yuvraj Singh on Monday revealed that he was promised a farewell game by the BCCI provided he failed the ‘Yo Yo’ fitness test. However, he passed it and the swansong never happened.
The 37-year-old, who announced his retirement in Mumbai after almost 17 years of international cricket, last played for India in June 2017.
“Mujhe bola gaya tha agar aapse ‘Yo Yo’ test pass nahi hota toh aap retirement match khel sakate ho (I was told that if you are not able to pass the ‘Yo Yo’ test, I would get a farewell game),” the 37-year-old said at an emotional press conference to announce his decision to quit international cricket to pursue a freelance T20 career internationally.
His contemporary Virender Sehwag has spoken about the pain of not getting a farewell match but Yuvraj said he did not want one. Even greats like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid did not get the farewell games they deserved.
“I did not tell anyone in BCCI that I have to play the last match. Agar main accha tha, potential tha toh main ground pe se chale jaata. (If I was good enough, I would have retired from the ground). Aur mujhe is tarha ki cricket khelna pasand nahi hai, ki mujhe ek match chahiye (I don’t like to ask for a game, I have never played the game with that mindset),” he said.
“Toh maine us time bola ki mujhe retirement match nahi chahiye, ‘Yo Yo’ test pass nahi hoga toh main chup chhap ghar chale jayunga… ‘Yo Yo’ test pass kiya and then rest is not my call,” he said.
A yo-yo test involves a player sprinting between two cones that are set 20 metres apart on the sound of a beep. It is used to measure an athlete’s endurance. Asked for his thoughts on the test, which must be cleared to make the Indian team right now, Yuvraj gave a guarded reply leaving the details for the future.
“See I am sure now I’ll have a lot of time to discuss these things, I’ll have a lot to say. I am not saying right now because India is playing the World Cup. And I don’t want any controversies over the players.
“I want the players to be in the best space, to go in the last four, so I am sure my time will come to speak and I don’t want be in that space I have retired in the World Cup, I have just retired because I want to move on in my life,” said the Man of 2011 World Cup.
Yuvraj did not get the farewell he perhaps deserved but his fans have not seen the last of him on the field.
He will will be venturing into overseas T20 leagues provided he gets necessary clearance from the BCCI.