Sourav Ganguly, the captain who gave Yuvraj Singh his first chance in international cricket praised the southpaw on his retirement.
Yuvraj, who made his debut under Ganguly's captaincy in 2000 against Kenya didn't get a chance to bat in his first game but the southpaw was in no mood to step back as he smashed match-winning 84 off 80 balls against Australia when he got his chance in next game. The young kid from Chandigarh faced the lethal fast bowling line-up of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee with grit at Nairobi ICC knockout game.
Talking to ICC regarding Yuvraj's early impact at the international stage, the former Indian skipper said, "I was just six-seven months into my tenure and there was a word going around that there is a young cricketer who is very, very good."
“I remember getting into one of the selection meetings and one of them asked my opinion of him. I was told that he was just 18, strikes the ball well and that he had a great U-19 World Cup.”
Ganguly believed that Yuvraj was ready for the big stage when he entered the Indian team during ICC knockout in 2000. Later on, Yuvraj became one of the biggest match winners for the Indian team in limited overs cricket. The big match player played the lead role in India's 2007 T20 WC and 2011 ODI World Cup triumph.
Ganguly said: “I told the selectors: ‘If he is good, just pick him’. He came into the side against Kenya in Nairobi. He made a mark straight away in the ICC knockout [in 2000].
“We beat Australia in the first game. He got runs, run-outs...he was magnificent on the field. You could see that here was a young cricketer who was ready for the world stage.
“He followed that with exploits at the World Cup. He hit six sixes against Stuart Broad in Durban, a very quick wicket. You have to be seriously good to play 300 ODIs for India. As for me and him, it was a relationship that only got better with time; an out-and-out match winner in this format.”
Earlier Ganguly also tweeted on Yuvraj's retirement and shared a heartfelt note for the southpaw.
He tweeted, "@YUVSTRONG12 dear Yuv .. every good thing comes to an end .. I tell u this was a marvellous thing..u were like my brother very dear.. and now after u finish even dearer.. the entire country will be proud of u . Love u lots..fantastic career..@bcci"
@YUVSTRONG12 dear Yuv .. every good thing comes to an end .. I tell u this was a marvellous thing..u were like my brother very dear.. and now after u finish even dearer.. the entire country will be proud of u . Love u lots..fantastic career..@bcci— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) June 10, 2019
Yuvraj responded to his first Indian skipper in a quirky way," Thanks Dadi for giving me an opportunity to play for india and live my dream you will always be special to me."
Thanks Dadi for giving me an opportunity to play for india and live my dream 🙏 you will always be special to me— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) June 10, 2019