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It's like building a new body, tough but I'm getting there

Monday, July 09, 2021
Subhash Rajta

The swagger is back, the voice is no longer feeble. The body is again showing signs of being toned up. The weak smile of not-so-long-ago has turned to deep-throated laughter. Yuvraj Singh is slowly getting close to being his old self. Although something seems to have changed within, the man declares "he's the same person he was, and will always remain the same".

Read on…

You have been through a life-changing experience. What has changed in you?
I have realised how valuable life is, not just for the individual but also for his family and friends. I have also realised how important your family is, how they suffer as much as you do and how they stick with you. Basically, I care more about humanity now and can empathise with other people's pain. I used to ignore my health a lot. But I won't take it for granted anymore. I will also encourage others to be more careful.

Did you fear at any stage that you might lose the battle against cancer?
It was tough initially. I did wonder sometimes if I would survive. It was tough, but I went through it, faced my fears and have come out, hopefully, as a much stronger person.

You have lived life in the fast lane. Will that change?
The perception about my lifestyle is media's creation. It didn't bother me in the past, and most certainly won't now. My life is about my choices and decisions, not of anyone else. It's something that's never going to change.

How did it feel holding the bat once again?
It was an amazing feeling. I had often doubted if I was ever going to pick up a bat again. When I finally walked into the nets and hit a few balls, it simply felt out of the world.

Ambitions and insecurities are part of competitive sport. Will you deal with it differently than in the past?
Like everyone else, I used to worry about my performance and feel a bit insecure. But that's all about it. That too I think will change now. I definitely want to play for India again, but I am not too worried. Whatever happens now can't bother me much. I have won my life back, and that's the biggest thing for me.

How much does Lance Armstrong's remarkable comeback from cancer inspire you?
People shouldn't expect me to do what Armstrong did. He came back and won seven Tour de France titles, I don't know how.

I have got my life back and will most certainly make the most of it, but I can't say I will do something similar on a cricket field. I will though try as hard as I can and win as many games as possible for India.

How is your body responding to the training and fitness regime?
It's like building a new body. It's tough, but things are improving with every session. I have worked on my fitness. Muscles have stopped trembling. I need to gradually build strength too.

Hopefully, in two months I should be ready for the grind. I have set my eyes on the T20 World Cup for comeback, but before that I would like assess my form and fitness in the two T20s against New Zealand.

Will you try and rope in your teammates into charity work?
It's completely the individual's call. My choice is mine, and I don't want to impose it on them or interfere with their thoughts and lives.

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