In conversation with former Indian cricketer and entrepreneur Yuvraj Singh
Traversing through athleticism, fatherhood, health, and lifestyle, Yuvraj’s journey has been one with soaring highs and deep lows.
His evolving relationship and changing dynamics with cricket, health, and family in his 40s are a testament to his journey so far and a glimpse into what comes next with turning the page.
A household name who came center stage for sports, and fitness, and his spirit in cricket, Yuvraj Singh has seen the horizons of sports and life change. From starting out as a young sportsperson to treading the cricket pitch with his classic batsmen and fielding prowess, Yuvraj has seen his path evolve with the evolution of an era.
At 41, he looks back at his cricket and life journey as he peeks into the next phase of life. The man invincible on the pitch has also seen a fair share of plunges into business, media ventures, and zealous work on causes that he stands for.
The Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee has also shown a great streak in entrepreneurship with ventures like YouWeCan. Other investments include ventures like Healthians, EduKart, EazyDiner, Wellversed, and many others. His passion to work in areas of health, education, and fitness is seen in this range of investments.
Born to former Indian cricketers Yograj and Shabnam, Yuvraj was a sports enthusiast since childhood. Starting out with roller skating and tennis he pivoted to cricket in 1995. He rose to success and came to be known for his natural strokes and aggressive style of play along with his prolific fielding skills.
Having stepped into the world of cricket at the age of 13, Yuvraj has had an interesting graph since 2000. His run in the golden 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup marked a great streak in international cricket. After a gamut of cricket performances since his retirement declared in 2019 was upsetting for fans across the world while they cherish his journey deeply.
In 2011, Yuvraj’s bout with cancer and the path to remission became a cornerstone for conversation around health. His late career after recovery wasn’t spearheaded without the challenges of the tolls it took on his health before he finally chose to bid adieu to his international career.
With changing paths and areas of focus, Yuvraj looked at his personal trajectory with great zeal. The all-rounder with his wife Hazel Keech, welcomed their second child this year. Yuvraj talks about becoming a parent and how fatherhood has changed him. With health and lifestyle at the crux of a sportsperson's journey, he further talks about his take on how significant keeping up with a healthy lifestyle has been for him.
Cricket, Fitness and more
When we talk about Cricket in India, your name pops up among the top inspirations. How does that make you feel?
It's truly humbling and an honor to be considered an inspiration in the world of cricket, especially in a cricket-crazy nation like India. I've always played the game with passion and dedication, and if my journey can inspire the next generation of cricketers, it fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
You've entered your 40s now, how does your body respond to this new decade?
Entering my 40s has been a new phase of my life, and like anyone else, I've had to pay more attention to my fitness and well-being. Age does bring its own challenges, but with the right training, nutrition, and care, I believe I can continue to stay fit and active. I feel that with the right training, nutrition, and recovery, age is just a number!
You were considered among the ﬁrst pioneers of bringing hardcore athleticism to the ﬁeld, how did you do that?
My athleticism comes naturally from my parents as my dad played all sports and my mom played basketball. My father wanted me to be the best fielder in the world, so I pretty much underwent close to 8 hours of training every day in my teens.
My approach to fitness and athleticism on the field was a result of my dedication and desire to be the best I could be. I worked closely with fitness trainers and coaches to improve my strength, agility, and endurance. It was a combination of structured training routines, a focus on nutrition, and a strong mental attitude that allowed me to excel in the field of fitness and athleticism in cricket.
Fatherhood and Life
How have marriage and fatherhood changed you as a man?
Marriage and becoming a father have been amazing and transformative experiences in my life. They've brought a sense of responsibility, and a deeper perspective on life. It's not just about me anymore; it's about my family and ensuring their happiness and well-being. Becoming a parent has been a source of great joy and a profound sense of love and connection with both my son Orion and daughter Aura.
Seeing Orion grow up and throw balls all the time feels like I’m living my childhood again. I can’t wait to do the same with Aura as she grows up. Being a parent is the most amazing feeling and it’s difficult to explain this joy in words.
Why do you think health is the best asset in a man's life?
Health is indeed the most valuable asset in one's life. Without good health, all the success, wealth, and achievements lose their meaning. Health enables us to pursue our dreams, enjoy life's moments, and be there for our loved ones. It's the foundation upon which everything else in life is built.
How did a disease like Cancer make you stronger? Tell us about that Fight.
Dealing with cancer was undoubtedly one of the toughest challenges of my life. It tested me physically and mentally. But it also made me stronger in many ways. It taught me the importance of resilience, hope, and the incredible power of the human spirit. The support of my family, friends, and fans was a driving force in my fight against cancer. It made me more appreciative of life and the opportunities it offers. It also led to the formation of my foundation YouWeCan, through which we actively work in the sphere of cancer awareness and care. Today, I consider myself a survivor, and that experience has given me a new perspective on life.
What are your suggestions to a common man who's struggling to lead a Healthy lifestyle amidst this Hustle culture?
In today's fast-paced world, leading a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, but it's essential. Make time for regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, and ensure you get enough sleep. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature. Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or professionals if you're struggling with your health or well-being. Limit your screen time, especially before bedtime, to improve sleep quality.
I feel small changes can lead to significant improvements in our overall health and well-being. It's about finding a balance that works for you and making sustainable choices for the long term.
“I've always played the game with passion and dedication, and if my journey can inspire the next generation of cricketers, it fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.”
“Marriage and becoming a father have been amazing and transformative experiences in my life. It's not just about me anymore.”
Written By: Puneet Kapani
Edited By: Chirajita Gupta