Wednesday was a day when emotions did take centrestage as Yuvraj Singh received the Arjuna Award at a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The occasion was certainly a special one for Yuvraj, one of those rare cricketers to make an appearance at the National Sports Awards function, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that in many ways, life has come a full circle for the Punjab southpaw, who battled cancer over the last year to return back to the cricket field recently. Yuvraj was rewarded for his performance as the man-of-the-series in the ICC World Cup last year. All that would seem a long time ago for Yuvraj, who is taking small steps towards a fresh start now.
"This award is a very special one. It is really satisfying to finally receive it after getting nominated for it a few times," Yuvraj said here on Wednesday.
While Yuvraj walked around looking his confident self, obliging the throng of autograph seekers, mother Shabnam looked concerned about her son's health, and constantly followed him. "I think you can say that this award is a fresh start for me. It comes at a time when I am getting ready to make my international comeback. I have been training at the National Cricket Academy for the last three months. I also played in a couple of practice matches recently where I managed to perform well. I think I am ready to play in my first international match after a year's gap on September 8," the 30-year-old said.
Meanwhile The Hindu writes that these are good times for Yuvraj Singh and he acknowledges it with a “one of the memorable days of my life” comment. His successful fight against cancer, preceded by World Cup glory and followed by the Arjuna Award recognition from the government, has meant the world to this gifted all-rounder.
Yuvraj played a big role in India winning the 2011 World Cup at Mumbai and has grown in stature as a youth icon. “It’s a very prestigious award and bigger than anything that I have achieved in life. I was nominated twice but couldn’t get it for whatever reasons. This award will give me lot of courage and strength to give my best. It will be a huge inspiration really and I take it as a feather in my cap. It brings such respect.
“I feel proud of now being known as an Arjuna Awardee. I am also excited because the President presented the award and it means a lot. It was a momentous occasion for me and my family,” said Yuvraj.