It was a familiar sight of Yuvraj Singh touching Sachin Tendulkar’s feet to seek his blessings.
He has done it twice on a cricket ground or may be more. But these were the times when his act was captured by photographers.
Last time, it was during the MCC Bicentenary Celebration Match in which Yuvraj scored a scintillating century. After guiding his team - Rest of the World XI - towards a safe total he touched Sachin’s feet, who was bowling for Marylebone Cricket Club on July 5, 2014 .
This time, Yuvraj had just completed his hundredth IPL innings when he touched his icon’s feet as a mark of respect. He scored 39 runs off 23 balls in the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s match against Mumbai Indians in Visakhapatnam.
The two players share a long history, both backing up each other during tough times and constantly encouraging one another to rise from defeats both on the field and in personal life.
After winning the World Cup in 2011, Yuvraj had dedicated his success to Sachin by saying the Master Blaster was his ‘inspiration’.
“In my tough times, I just spoke to Sachin about my issues with batting and form and fitness and he told me that you will matter when it matters the most. That is a very special thought, it remains with me,” Yuvraj said on the first anniversary of India’s World Cup win.
“I remember I have a picture of me and Sachin together which I have put in my locker. I used to have a look at that picture and go to bat. He is my inspiration,” Yuvraj added.
Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer in February 2012 and underwent chemotherapy in the US. Since his comeback, he has struggled to find form but has managed to stick around because of some match-winning performances with the international side.
“When I went to meet him in London, I was telling my wife that I don’t want to break down when I see him,” Sachin said during the release of Yuvraj’s book ‘The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back’ on March 19, 2013.
Yuvraj was heartbroken after hearing about Sachin’s retirement on November 16, 2013. He had just scored a match-winning 77 against Australia in a one-off T20 at Rajkot and was confused whether to celebrate his success or feel sad as Sachin will not be a part of the dressing room anymore.
“I don’t think I am going to let him go away. I am going to catch hold of his feet and not (let him) leave the dressing room. It has been amazing to play with him for so many years -- one of the greatest players to have played the game. I don’t know what to say,” Yuvraj said after learning about Sachin’s decision to retire.
The left-arm all-rounder has scored 2,143 runs at an average of 25.21 in the 100 IPL matches. He has also taken 35 wickets at an economy of 7.26.