Yuvraj Singh has just stepped into his 30th year and admits he feels “old” even though he brought in his birthday with a cruise party that reportedly went on all night. “It was my birthday, I don’t have to give explanations. Why can’t people talk about my game instead of selling masala stories?” he grouses.
There have been plenty of speculations on that front too. “Yeah, I’ve been hit by injuries in the last one year and the media hasn’t been kind. First, they got me dropped from the team, then insisted that I be brought back,” he retorts. “I’m back in the One-Day side, and hoping to return to Tests too. We’re playing a lot of cricket, it’s difficult to perform in all three forms. Fortunately, our bench strength is good,” Singh says.IPL Season 4 auction comes up in two weeks. And though Preity Zinta was at his birthday bash, it’s unlikely that he will don Kings XI Punjab’s colours again. "Preity is a friend. She’s a genuine person and I wish her team well. But the retention dates have passed, so now I’ll play for whichever team picks me up," says Singh, who is now in the A-list at a bidding price of Rs 1.84 crore. "Right now, IPL is not on my mind, it’s the South Africa series and the 2011 World Cup." IPL 3 drew criticism for the packed itinerary and after-parties that left the players too drained for the T20 World Cup. Singh says the only time they didn’t face criticism was when they won the 2007 World Cup. "I think IPL is a great concept, you get to play with players from different countries and improve your game," he reasons.
Singh’s new manager, Kedhar Gawde, is a fashion choreographer who’s done shows for international brands like Armani. Is Singh planning to start a fashion line, do a TV reality show or walk the ramp, as he did for Salman Khan?
“Initially Kedhar, like many others, thought I was a brash boy and hated me. But he loves me now and is helping me build my brand. I like fashion, I’ve been a guest on TV shows and Salman is a friend whose Being Human charity is doing good work. But right now, the focus is cricket,” he asserts.
“No one has ever praised my singing, dancing or dialogue delivery. Jab tak balla chalti hai, thaat hai. Beech mein band ho gayi thi, ab chal rahi hai, hopefully, next year, thaat hogi. (As long as my bat talks, things are great. It had stopped in between, but has started again, so hopefully 2011 will be good).”