Father’s Day EXCLUSIVE | Yuvraj Singh reveals, ‘Our son will be called son Orion Keech Singh’

Published on Jun 19, 2022 07:44 AM IST

On Father’s Day, former cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who embraced fatherhood earlier this year, calls himself “a decently hands-on father” to his son Orion Keech Singh, and credits wife, Hazel Keech for training him well.

Exclusive pictures of Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Singh with their newborn son, Orion Keech Singh. (Baby’s face has been revealed with parents’ permission.)
Exclusive pictures of Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Singh with their newborn son, Orion Keech Singh. (Baby’s face has been revealed with parents’ permission.)
ByMonika Rawal Kukreja

The last five months have been very “different, special and emotionally overwhelming” for former cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who welcomed his first child with wife, actor Hazel Keech Singh. In an exclusive chat with us on Father’s Day, Yuvi gets excited and emotional as he talks about his newborn son, who they have named Orion Keech Singh.

“Orion is a star constellation and for parents, your kid is your star. When Hazel was pregnant, and sleeping in the hospital, I was watching some episodes where the name came to me and Hazel took an instant liking to it. I wanted Hazel’s last name also to come in the baby’s name, so that’s how it came about,” he reveals. He goes on to share that his happiness knew no bounds when he first got to know that Hazel was pregnant. “We had been trying for a while to have a baby but it didn’t happen. Hazel was four months pregnant when she left for England, and just when I had to go, I got Covid, so I had to quarantine for two weeks before I could see her,” he tells us on a call from Goa.

Excerpts from the interview:

This is your first Father’s Day being a father yourself. How is this feeling like?

It’s really special. My parents would always tell me, ‘One day when you will become a father, you’ll understand the love your parents have for you’. So, now I actually understand what they meant that when you have a child, it’s so special and such an amazing feeling that you really can’t describe in words. When you see a part of you come out from inside of your wife, it’s just a very overwhelming. I was really overwhelmed when our baby came out. It was our first time, I didn’t know what to say or what to do. We had tears in our eyes.

How has fatherhood changed you in these five months? How efficiently you’ve learnt daddy duties? Do you sometimes still pinch yourself and wonder if all this is for real?

It took a while to understand that I was a father. Every time I look at Orion, it’s an amazing feeling that there’s someone who is a part of you and your wife. And yes, I think I’m decently a hands-on father; Hazel has trained me well. I won’t say I’m as perfect as my wife is, but I can feed him a bottle, change his nappy and put on his clothes. Though that’s the toughest part when I try taking clothes off him and they get stuck on his neck and he starts to cry. Actually, when I’m changing his nappy and putting on his clothes, I need time and I don’t want people around me. It’s like a mission for me, but I still happily do it. He has peed on everyone except me right now, so I’m the next target (laughs).

As you keep travelling for work, does it get hard now to leave Hazel and your son behind in England?

Yeah, it’s very difficult to actually leave them. Obviously, because my work is here (in India), and I’ve to travel otherwise also. I try and spend as much time as I can with Hazel and Orion and then I come back to India for work, and then I go back to them again. It’s kind of tough, but once the monsoons are over, we probably have more time to spend, as he grows older. These these four-five years are very important of a kid growing in front of you and I don’t want to miss that.

Yuvraj Singh with his five-month-old son, Orion Keech Singh.
Yuvraj Singh with his five-month-old son, Orion Keech Singh.

Has the baby started to recognise you when you go back home after many days?

For the first few days, he was a little bit scared like, ‘Who’s this guy?’. But then he slowly started to recognise my voice; there are a couple of songs that I’m trying to sing for him. So, he gets that. He’s a very smiling baby unless he’s hungry — then he’s like his dad — he cries and throws a fit. So, every time he is hungry, Hazel is like, ‘Your son’. Every time a kid does something bad, it’s the father’s fault, and every time he does good, he’s the mother’s baby (chukles).

Of whatever you have learnt from your father, what would you definitely want to teach your son?

My father (Yograj Singh, former cricketer) made me work really hard. So, I’d definitely encourage my son to work hard in whatever field he will get into. Then, I learnt a lot of dedication and a never-give-up attitude, from my father. I’d like to motivate Orion through that journey as well that whatever your dream is, you should never give up because only dreams are made of you and to fulfill them, you should always go to the end. You don’t know what’s lying ahead of you. If today you give up, you’ll never know what was meant to happen tomorrow. So, these are two qualities I’d like to derive from my dad and give them to my son.

Your mother, Shabnam Singh, has been your pillar of strength throughout your personal and professional journey. How important is it for you to have the same kind of relationship/bond with your son?

My parents, when I was growing up, were actually falling apart. And I think for a kid, it’s very important to have the love of his parents. So, it’s really important that Hazel and I have a very healthy relationship in the family orientation for our child to grow up because when things are not good at home, it really affects the child. We will always make an effort that Orion should have the love of his parents no matter what.

Being a Punjabi at heart, how would you, Hazel and your family ensure that the baby also stays connected to Indian roots and understands the value of family and relationships once he grows up?

Hazel has a great family environment with her mum and dad... we all always sit together, eat and hang out. When I come to India, my parents live separately, but I always make an effort to spend time with them. That’s what we would want to bring into our child as well — family values. When you talk of roots, it’s really important to stay connected to them, so I’d really like Orion to learn Hindi and Punjabi. Obviously, he’s going to speak English because he’d be living in England half of the time and probably his mother would like to teach him a foreign language, French or Spanish. It’s already sounding there’s too much pressure on him (chuckles), but I feel he should know a bit of Hindi and Punjabi. Rest, I just want to go with the flow and also it’s too early.

Can’t help but ask this question — would you want your son to be a cricketer one day and play for Team India? Have such casual talks already started happening at dinner tables? What if he wants to be an actor and join Bollywood?

Yeah, it’s too early to decide what he’s going to do. Now while spending time with him, we think about every day and when he smiles at us, it means the world to us. Whether he becomes a sportsman, whether he becomes an actor or whatever career he pursues, I’d always encourage him. I’m not going to be like my dad who said, ‘You’re only going to play cricket.’ When my son was born, my dad was like, ‘I want to make him a fast bowler’, and I was like, ‘Dad, too much pressure too early. Let him come out of the hospital first’. So, that’s the fun side, but I’d not pressure him to play a particular sport. But, I’d encourage him to play golf at an early age; I feel it’s an amazing sport, which can help you in other sports.

And what message do you have for all first-time fathers?

It is the best feeling in the world to have your first child. Cherish this moment, it's not going to come back. Make sure you spend as much time as you can with the kid. Once you have a connect with your child, and he grows older, it’s going to be more amazing and your children become your friends. It’s a great journey that’s what I hear and I’m looking forward to it with all you guys out there.

Interact with the author on Twitter/@monikarawal

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