Yuvraj Singh: 'I have been through hell and back'


By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Dec. 13 -- By his own admission, 2011 has been the worst year for Yuvraj Singh. The cricketer, who turned 30 yesterday, was recently diagnosed with a non-malignant tumour in his lung.

"My body's been through hell and back. When 2010 ended, I thought my worries were over. But this has been the worst year regarding health issues," he says.

Having recently undergone surgery, Singh says he's now focussing all his energy on making a full recovery. "I've been doing lots of yoga to get my breath back. It's been really tough to rejuvenate mentally and physically. But I've got out of it, and the challenge is to come back 100% fitter. The next five-six years will be the best in my career, and I'm looking forward to that."

While his track record on the cricket pitch may not have been consistent, the area in which the athlete has had no trouble making headlines is his flamboyant lifestyle and playboy image. "I'm actually a simple boy at heart, that image was created by the media," he protests, before admitting, "But living on the edge was tough. I now understand that when your life is in danger, you become more precious to your friends and family. They were really disturbed, especially my mom, so I had to be extra strong."

Singh is now keeping his fingers crossed that he'll be picked to be part of India's next tour of Australia. Meanwhile, he's got another off-the-pitch highlight in his career. The cricketer has been picked as the first ever ambassador for luxury watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, and now has a signature collection to his name.

Proceeds from the sale of these watches will go to the Yuvraj Singh Foundation, an NGO that promotes sports, education and health projects for underprivileged children.

Of course, being a brand ambassador comes with its set of privileges, including getting a watch with a cool six-figure price tag for free. But ask whom he might consider gifting his namesake timepiece to, and he says, "I'm not giving my watch to anyone. It's going to be a collector's item, so hopefully one day, when I find a wife and have a son or daughter, I'll pass the watch on to them."