Cricketer Yuvraj Singh on why he doesn't want to announce date of wedding with actress-fiancée Hazel Keech
Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech
Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech
When he emphatically announced that he is the best-looking cricketer, we saw a hint of his boyish arrogance that he famously brought to his game. Yuvraj Singh has a legendary story; he’s the man who battled cancer and cheated death to play cricket. But, he wishes life had panned out differently. Yuvi, who is on the brink of a new innings — professionally, with the launch of his clothing line and personally, he’s set to tie the knot with actress Hazel Keech.
He’s finally settling down, but has been careful to not announce the big day. “I have my guards up this time since it’s too special. Everyone is bound to have a personal life and when you have a schedule as hectic as ours, you hardly have a life. I don’t like being asked about Hazel because I don’t want anything about us to come out. By dating someone, you are not committing a crime. It is the most normal thing in this world. But, the way it is pursued here is wrong,” he says.
Every time a cricketer dates someone famous, their personal life is held responsible for poor performance on field, he adds. Like, in the case of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. “All Aussie, Kiwi and South African cricketers bring their girlfriends for matches, but I have never heard of them being ripped apart because of their spouses or partners. This happens only in India; things are misinterpreted,” he sighs.
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Is his clothing line an extension of Brand Yuvraj Singh? He shakes his head, “You We Can isn’t a PR exercise. What started as an NGO to spread awareness and remove the stigma attached to the disease needs a solid source of continuous funds. I have been there and I will do anything to save lives of cancer patients and help them return to the lives they led earlier.”
He recalls being in denial when he was first diagnosed with cancer. “How can an athlete have cancer, I thought. When I composed myself, my biggest fear was whether I would be able to play or not. I was privileged enough to have a doctor who assured me that I will be cancer-free when I walk out of the hospital. It was a rough ride but I knew that if I can fight cancer, I will train and come back to play for India again. Getting glory for the country evokes a superhuman passion for the game. I regret missing my peak days but I am lucky to be alive. I returned from the dead as a better man,” he says.
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Yuvraj feels other sports deserve equal attention as cricket. “The problem lies with sports associations. Times are changing now; kabaddi, football and hockey are getting prominence. Cricketers are soft targets. We are attacked because we get paid better. But is it really our fault? Instead of focusing on us and our money, people should talk about the hero who ran a marathon and collapsed due to lack of water. They should felicitate her like they do for us,” he says.