New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh on Monday announced his retirement from international cricket, bringing a glittering career to an end during which he became the hero of India's 2011 World Cup triumph and fought a gritty battle with cancer. 

"After 25 years, I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything and is the reason why I stand here today," the 37-year-old Yuvraj said addressing the media.

"I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket," he added.

Not just internatinal cricket, Yuvraj also bid adieu to the IPL, the cash-rich event in which he was costliest cricketer in 2015 but was picked up at base price this time. 

The 37-year-old, who went for a record Rs 16 crore to the Delhi franchise back in 2015 turned up for the Mumbai Indians this year after being picked for a reduced base price of Rs one crore.

"Last year only I had thought that this year's IPL will be my last," an emotional Yuvraj said addressing the media here.

"I am not available for IPL. I have retired from BCCI and international cricket. I am looking forward to play outside India (in T20 leagues)."

He captained Kings XI Punjab and the now defunct Pune Warriors. He also represented Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

One of India's greatest limited overs cricketers, Yuvraj has been seriously contemplating retirement from international cricket and pursue a freelance career in ICC approved foreign Twenty20 leagues.

"It was a love-hate relationship with this game. I can't explain what it really means to me. This game taught me to fight. I have failed more times than I succeeded and I will never give up," he said. 

A senior BCCI official had recently told PTI that Yuvraj is thinking of calling it quits from international and first class cricket. 

"He would like to speak to the BCCI and get more clarity on plying his trade in tournaments like GT20 (Canada), Euro T20 Slam in Ireland and Holland as he has offers," a BCCI source privy to the development had said.

The battle with cancer soon after the 2011 World Cup triumph was perhaps the biggest challenge that he encountered. "I was not going to let that disease defeat me," he said. 

However, his cricketing form had been on the wane for a while. Yuvraj last played for India in a T20I against England in 2017. His last Test appearance was back in 2012. He turned up for Mumbai Indians in this year's IPL but didn't get many chances. 

Some of the most remembered innings played by the stylish batsman include his fiery 69-run knock against England in the 2002 Natwest Series final, leading the team to a historic win.

Another one was when he smashed England’s Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in one over in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 and later went on smash the fastest T20 fifty ever. India won the tournament. 

Yuvraj was the hero in India’s victory in the 2011 ODI World Cup and was announced the Man of the Tournament. 

Overall, he had played 402 international matches -- 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is -- and retires with 11,000 international runs and 148 international wickets across all three formats of the game.  

In the 304 ODIs, Yuvraj scored 8701 runs at an average of 36.55 with 14 centuries and 42 fifties. His highest score was 150 against England at Cuttack in 2017.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta