Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: All eyes were on India’s 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh when he arrived at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

When he went out to bat for Maratha Arabians team the fans chanted ‘Yuvi’ in unison on the first day of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League on Friday.

He lasted only six balls to hit six runs and fell while trying to hit a six off Northern Warriors’ Rayad Emrit, but ended up being caught at long-on.

It was Yuvraj’s T10 debut and so when asked about how was the experience of playing the newest format, he said: “Actually it went really fast. I just felt that there was no time to think whether to block or go for big hit.”

Maratha Arabians skipper Dwaye Bravo when asked about how was the experience of having a star like Yuvraj in the team and he said; “He’s a professional player, he’s a world-class player and a great human being. We treat him like any other player and we all know what he brings to the table. We all are happy to have someone like him in the dressing room.”

Yuvraj then went on to remark how important it is to quickly adapt to this format, “I guess that the nature of T10 is such that we need to get used to it quickly because we don’t have too many games to qualify as it is a short tournament. We have to get used to conditions and get going quickly.”

When asked what was the kind of mental adjustment he made to adapt from the T20 to T10 format, Yuvraj said: “In T20 too I bat at No. 4 and I try and take eight to 10 balls to get going. In T10 you don’t have that much liberty because if you play three to four dots balls you have to get a run or get a big hit. So I think batsmen go under pressure very quickly. You need to get smarter in terms of picking the bowler to hit though you want to hit everyone but you should not lose too many wickets, like we did yesterday. We could have been a little smarter in terms of hitting those big shots and then taking the singles. Also, we were taken aback by outstanding performance by Andre Russell with the bat and ball.”

Yuvraj feels that like T10, soon the 100-ball format can also create an impact. “I think the new format 100 balls will be an exciting format because it is neither T10 or T20 it is about 100 balls. It could be a close revolution like T20, but we need to wait and watch.”

So will T10 or T20 or 100 balls format be suitable if cricket makes it entry into World Cup? “Difference is how long the tournament has to be. If it has to be over in about two weeks then I think 100-ball format will be perfect. If the tournament has to be over in 10 days then obviously he T10 should be perfect. It all depends on the time frame of Olympics we have to decide it. I think an Olympic gold is very prestigious, so it has to be something in which an athlete should be able to bounce back in situations, so you have to decide that.”

Yuvraj said that he is enjoying his days after retirement by playing in shorter format events “I am really enjoying my cricket, enjoyed playing in Canada. Unfortunately I could not go to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) because of date issues and other things. Playing like two or three formats a year is actually great for me because I am retired. I have my retired life and I get to work on things that I did want to work after retirement. When I miss cricket I have these two or three tournaments to play rather being on a park for 360 days. Playing 60 or 90 days of cricket is relaxing and also I am at an age where I don’t wish to be playing throughout the year and so be relaxed and spend more time with the family and enjoy my life because it’s been a rollers coaster ride for 17 years so it can be as relaxing.”