The man is motivated to make a comeback in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. He spent a good 45 minutes in the nets, and as the ball met the sweet spot of his bat, it was evident that the charismatic left-hander had not lost his magic touch.
Thirty Punjab cricketers divided into two groups had attended a 10-day preparatory camp ahead of a T20 tournament from December 18 in Ludhiana.
However, uncertainty prevails regarding Yuvraj’s comeback. Lack of match-fitness is one of the reasons, as the 39-year-old was looking out of shape. He is also yet to receive approval from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly.
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) secretary Puneet Bali, who had requested Yuvraj to come out of retirement, told TOI: “We are still awaiting BCCI’s response.”
Yuvraj had retired from international, domestic cricket, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), in June 2019, clearing himself to play foreign leagues across the globe. He played for Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada held in August last year and Maratha Arabians in the Abu Dhabi T10 last November.
There is nothing wrong with Yuvraj’s desire to win laurels for his state, but BCCI’s rule discourages all active players from playing in foreign T20 leagues. Mumbai leg-spinner Pravin Tambe was one of the latest examples.
Tambe had announced his retirement in 2018 and went on to play the T10 league in the UAE. Later, in an auction held in December 2019, Tambe was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). But the BCCI didn’t allow him to participate, citing he has retired and played in the foreign league.
It will be interesting to see if the flamboyant batsman will get a green signal from BCCI or not; the 2011 World Cup hero did look in dangerous touch with the bat.
A year ago, left-arm pacer Barinder Sran switched to Chandigarh after he was left out of his home state Punjab’s Vijay Hazare Trophy squad. But the pacer has decided to move back to Punjab.
The bowler, who is also in the 30-member Punjab squad in the ongoing camp, has refused to say anything on his comeback. However, a top UTCA official has told TOI that the fast bowler has secured a no-objection certificate from Chandigarh.
The 28-year old, who has played six ODIs and two T20Is for India, was critical of the Punjab selectors before making a switch to Chandigarh last year.
The change didn’t pan out well for Sran as he only managed to get five wickets in as many List-A matches, two wickets in four T20 matches and failed to take any wicket in the solitary Ranji Trophy game he played against Arunachal Pradesh. He was later dropped by the Chandigarh selectors, stating his poor run of form.
Punjab probables: Mandeep Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Salil Arora, Gitansh Khera, Ramandeep Singh, Sanvir Singh, Karan Kaila, Rahul Sharma, Krishan Alang, Sandeep Sharma, Arshdeep Singh, Ikjot Singh, Naman Dhir, Abhishek Gupta, Himanshu Satyawan, Gurkeerat Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Prabhsimran Singh, Nehal Wadhera, Anmol Malhotra, Aarush Sabharwal, Abhinav Sharma, Harpreet Brar, Mayank arkande, Baltej Singh, Siddharth Kaul, Barinder Sarn, Gurnoor Singh, Harjas, Abhijit Garg, Kunwar Pathak