One of India's most successful batsmen in ODI cricket and winner of the man of the tournament award in the 2011 Cricket World Cup Yuvraj Singh is expected to announce his retirement from international and domestic cricket later today. The all-rounder has arranged an interaction with the media today at a hotel in Mumbai, where he is expected to make this declaration.
There has been speculation about Singh calling it quits for some time now and the prospect of participating in tournaments such as Euro T20 Slam, to be played in Ireland, and GT20, to be played in Canada, may have served as an additional motivating factor.
Indian players are barred from participating in overseas T20 leagues and as long as Yuvraj remains an active player in the Indian circuit, he cannot ply his trade in T20 events outside the country. By retiring, he could not only play these tournaments but other popular leagues across the world as a freelancer.
Yuvraj Singh started his international career with a bang in 2000 during the ICC Knockout Trophy in Nairobi. In only his second match and the first innings of his career, the left-hander struck a brilliant 84 to help his team defeat the world champions Australia.
He then went through a patch of bad form which saw him losing his place in the team. But when he returned to the Indian side during the home series against Zimbabwe in early 2002, he reasserted his class by rescuing his team with an innings of 80* and taking it to victory. After that he became a regular member of the ODI team.
In all, Yuvraj played 304 matches and batted in 278 innings to score 8701 runs with 14 centuries and 52 half-centuries. He also took 111 wickets with one five-wicket haul. He was one of the best fielders in the world at the beginning of his career and started the trend of good fielding in the Indian side.
However, Yuvraj couldn't replicate his success in the longest format and despite playing 40 Tests, only scored 1900 runs with an average of 33.92, though he did manage three hundreds with a highest score of 169. As a bowler also, he got just nine wickets in his entire Test career.
In T20Is, a career of 58 matches produced 1177 runs and 28 wickets and included his brilliant performance in the inaugural World T20 of 2007 which India won. His record in the IPL is mixed and this year, his team Mumbai Indians kept him on the bench after the first four matches of the season. This may have further prompted Yuvraj to consider retirement as his prospects in the IPL also are not looking that bright.