Sachin Tendulkar: Didn’t want to break down in front of Yuvraj Singh

New Delhi: Mar 19, 2013

Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said that he was scared of breaking down in front of Yuvraj Singh when he met the left-handed batsman in London after his treatment in the United States for a rare germ cell cancer.

“When I went to meet him in London, I was telling my wife [Anjali] that I don’t want to break down when I see him. I met him and gave him a tight hug. We enjoyed a meal and from the way he [Yuvraj] ate, I was convinced that he is back on track,” Tendulkar told a select gathering during the release of Yuvraj’s book “The Test of My Life’.

It was a poignant evening on Tuesday with the likes of Tendulkar, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and latest batting star Virat Kohli recollecting stories and their emotional experience during Yuvraj’s fight with cancer.

“When I saw my wife discussing medical terms with Yuvraj, I realised what he has been going through. He is like my younger brother and I would ask God why it [the illness] had to happen to Yuvraj,” Tendulkar said in an emotional tone.

Yuvraj, in his typical funny manner, recollected how he met Tendulkar for the first time.

“My first conversation was when I was looking at him in awe at the dressing room when suddenly he said ‘please pass on the biscuits,” Yuvraj said.

To this Tendulkar said, “I have not got those biscuits till now.”

On a serious note, Dhoni said that he knew about Yuvraj’s situation even before he told him about it.

“When his test reports came, someone told me he has cancer. I just said ‘are you sure’. The person repeated that Yuvraj has cancer. I was shocked,” said Dhoni.

Recalling India’s World Cup triumph in 2011, Yuvraj said, “Dhoni does not talk too much while batting. But when he got out against Australia in the quarterfinals, while going back he said shaabash Yuvi jitake aana (Yuvraj go and win).”

On a lighter vein, Dhoni remembered how Yuvraj greeted him in the Indian team back in 2004-05.

“Are bhai kya chal raha hain, phir chhake maarnese kuchch nahi hota, match jitaanese jyada appreciation milta hain (What’s up with you, hitting sixes doesn’t earn you anything, you get appreciated only when you win matches),” he said.

“First I used to refer to him as ‘aap’ and from then it came down to ‘tum’ and now it is ‘tu’,” Dhoni said.

Young Kohli remembered how during the World Cup, he went to Yuvraj’s room and found out he was coughing a lot with medicines lying beside the backside table.

“I asked him paaji why are you coughing so much. And he replied because he has cancer,” Kohli said.

“I thought it’s his habit of fooling around with people.

I told him not to joke and I left the room,” he said.

When the anchor asked how Kohli got the nickname chickoo, Yuvraj said, “When he came to the team I thought he resembled a baby bulldog with lovely cheeks. But now he has surpassed me in all departments, including being the most eligible bachelor.”

Harbhajan Singh, who was also present, said, “During Yuvi’s illness, I never spoke on that subject and I would always asked about the girl he is going to date when he is back after treatment and the girl he would introduce to me.”

On a lighter vein, Yuvraj said that he was surprised when he got an SMS from Dhoni while he was in the United States.

“I replied in the SMS ‘is it real Dhoni’ because it is so hard to get through to him.”