The stylish left-handed all-rounder reached lofty heights ever since making his India debut as a teenager in 2000 with several iconic moments marking his long journey in international cricket.
Here, we look back at the five most iconic moments of Yuvraj’s international career.
MAKES WAVES IN DEBUT TOURNAMENT
Handed his India debut as a teenager by Sourav Ganguly in the 2000 Champions Trophy in Kenya, Yuvraj wasted no time in announcing his prodigious talent on the international stage.
In only his second match in India colours, the southpaw went on to score a math-winning 84 off just 80 deliveries to help Ganguly’s men beat Australia in the quarter-final of the tournament.
Showing no fear against an Aussie bowling attack comprising of Glenn Mcgrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie, Yuvraj’s sparkling innings showed that the teenager was destined for big things to come.
YUVRAJ-KAIF LEAD INDIA TO MEMORABLE NATWEST TRIUMPH
Just two years after making his debut, Yuvraj found himself taking centerstage in India’s sensational run-chase against England in the final of the NatWest tri-series at Lord’s.
Centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain saw the hosts pile up a mammoth 325-5 after batting first at Lord’s before India found themselves staring down the barrel at 146-5.
With the side’s main batsmen back in the shed, all hope seemed to be lost for Ganguly’s men before Yuvraj and Mohammad Kaif forged a 121-run stand for the sixth wicket.
India would ultimately go on to clinch the match in dramatic style in the final over with a young Yuvraj contributing with a 63-ball 69.
SIX SIXES IN AN OVER
In the inaugural World Twenty20 (now T20 World Cup) in South Africa in 2007, Yuvraj achieved one of the rarest feats in international cricket by smashing six sixes in a single over.
It came in India’s clash against England at Durban with Stuart Broad being the unfortunate bowler at the receiving end. That sensational assault saw Yuvraj bring up a 12-ball half century and it still stands as the record for the fastest ever T20I fifty.
Yuvraj’s ridiculous hitting did not just end there with the left-hander smashing a blazing 70 against Australia in the semi-final of the tournament India would ultimately go on to win.
SCORES CAREER-BEST 150 AGAINST ENGLAND
Yuvraj has enjoyed a stellar ODI career over the years with 8,701 runs in 304 matches which contained 14 centuries and 52 fifties. It was his 14th and final ODI ton which turned out to be his best-ever display in the format with England once again facing the wrath of his monstrous hitting.
In the second ODI between India and England at Cuttack in 2017, the hosts found themselves in trouble at the start after being reduced to 25-3. However, Yuvraj and Dhoni turned the game on its head with a 256-run partnership that helped India ultimately amass 381-6 in their 50 overs.
Yuvraj scored 150 of those runs off just 127 deliveries with India going on to win the match narrowly by just 15 runs. It came at a time when his career was on its last legs with the batsman going on to play nine more ODIs for his country subsequently.
MVP OF INDIA’S 2011 WORLD CUP TRIUMPH
Yuvraj’s crowning achievement as an India player came in the 2011 World Cup where his all-round displays led the charge to a title in front of home fans. The southpaw was excellent with both bat and ball throughout the tournament and deservedly finished as the man of the tournament.
Yuvraj picked up 15 wickets while scoring 362 runs with the bat and was awarded the man-of-the-match on four separate occasions. He delivered in critical moments for the team in their run to the final in Mumbai and was fittingly at the crease when MS Dhoni hit the World Cup winning six against Sri Lanka.
That those displays came after what had been a lean spell for Yuvraj made it all the more special.
Veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh had announced his decision to retire from international cricket as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a press conference held at Mumbai on Monday.
The left-handed batsman played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India in a 17-year long international career with his last appearance coming against the West Indies in June, 2017.
Yuvraj is considered to be one of the finest limited-overs all-rounders produced by India with the southpaw going on to make major contributions towards the team’s triumph in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 as well as the 2011 ICC World Cup.
“After 25 years, in and around 22 yards, and after almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on,” Yuvraj said.
“I am extremely lucky to play 400+ games for India, I for one, would have not imagined doing this when I started my career as a cricketer.
“Through this journey, some matches that remain etched in my memory were the 2002 NatWest final, my first test hundred in Lahore in 2004, the 2007 ODI series in England, six sixes at the 2007 T20 World Cup, that match when we realised to have not gone beyond at 2007 50-over World Cup and then the most memorable was 2011 World Cup finals.”
While the left-hander’s exploits of smashing six sixes in a single Stuart Broad over in the 2007 World Twenty20 will long be remembered, his crowning achievement as an all-rounder came in the 2011 World Cup on home soil where he picked up 15 wickets and scored 362 runs to finish as the man-of-the-series.
“Winning the 2011 World Cup, being Man of the Series, four Man of the Match awards, was all like a dream, which was followed by a harsh reality, getting diagnosed with cancer,” he stated.
“It was like touching the sky and then falling down at light speed and hitting the ground hard. All this happened so quickly, and that too when I was at the peak of my career.
“But in that moment, everyone to whom I mattered, stood together for me – my fans, my friends, my family.”
The 37-year-old has also ended his association with the IPL as a player after turning out for Mumbai Indians in the 2019 edition.
Since making his ODI debut in the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy, Yuvraj went on to score 8,701 runs in 304 ODIs while picking up 111 wickets with the ball.
The tournament is likely to be played in the T20I format and is slated to take place in September, just one month before the 2020 World Cup T20 takes place in Australia.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was represented by chairman Ehsan Mani and managing director Wasim Khan in the ACC meeting also attended by representatives of India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
No decision has been taken yet over which cities in Pakistan will host the 15th edition of the Asia Cup.
Pakistan last hosted the Asia Cup on home soil in 2008 when the tournament was held in the 50-over format.
With bilateral cricket relations between Pakistan and India completely strained, it remains to be seen whether the tournament is staged in the former’s backyard or moved to another neutral venue.
India had been awarded the rights to host the 2018 Asia Cup but the tournament was shifted to the UAE eventually at the behest of the BCCI.
In the meeting held at Singapore, ACC members also reaffirmed their stance on including cricket in the 2022 Asian Games slated to be held in Hangzhuo, China.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) had last year announced its decision to include cricket in the sports program for the 2022 Asian Games. The matches in the Asian Games will be held in the T20 format.