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Yuvraj Singh sets sights on 2019 Cricket World Cup

Yuvraj Singh sets sights on 2019 Cricket World Cup
Yuvraj Singh was named the man of the tournament in India's victorious 2011 World Cup campaign.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has set himself the goal of playing in the 2019 Cricket World Cup which will be played in England and Wales.

Yuvraj made his debut for India in October 2000, and has scored 8,329 runs in 293 One-Day Internationals including 13 hundreds and 51 fifties.

In the Twenty20 International format, he has played 55 matches for India, scoring 1,134 runs whereas he has 1,900 runs from 40 Test matches.

For the most part of his career, Yuvraj has been a pillar of the Indian middle order in ODIs while also going on to secure the man-of-the series award in the victorious 2011 Cricket World Cup campaign.

However, the biggest setback to Yuvraj's career was the diagnosis of cancer, which immediately followed the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

After undergoing treatment and overcoming the cancer, the 34-year-old made a comeback to the Indian ODI side, but failed to replicate his earlier success and has not featured in the format since December 2013.

Nevertheless, Yuvraj was given another chance in the T20I side after impressing the selectors in the domestic arena and featured in the latest editions of the Asia Cup and the World T20.

Stating that it is his passion for the game which keeps him motivated, Yuvraj feels that he still has a few more years left in his career.

"I think it’s the passion for the game," Singh told Reuters.

"I don’t want to sit one day and think ‘Oh, I should have played a few more years’.

"I want to end where I feel this is it and this is how much I would have played.

"Given the opportunity, I still feel I have a few more years to excel."

Though he was not at his attacking best in the World T20, Yuvraj played crucial knocks against Pakistan and Australia before he suffered an ankle injury which ended his participation in the tournament.

Disappointed with the timing of the injury, Singh said that he is currently aiming to achieve his goal of playing in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

“It was pretty disappointing," he lamented.

"You have an injury before the World Cup semi-final and I was preparing to play the World Cup for a while.

"(The 50-over World Cup in) 2019 would be a goal for me to achieve.

"But for that I need to work very hard and I would have to perform very outstandingly.

"I will try and look forward to do that.

"If I can reach 2019 it will be huge for me."

It was in the Test arena that Singh failed to live up to the expectations and his average of 33.92 is well below his first-class average of 44.39.

For a large part of his early international career, Singh found it tough to cement his place in the Test side as Indian batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly were in the prime of their careers.

When his big chance finally came thanks to the retirement of those senior players, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer but the stylish left-hander acknowledges that his performance in Test cricket left a lot to be desired.

“Definitely, I am a big underachiever in Test cricket.

“But I can’t really take out anything because I didn’t have many opportunities.

“We had lot of greats playing in the team.

“For seven years of my career I was mostly the 12th man for Test matches.

“When I actually had a spot, I got diagnosed with cancer.

“So it’s been unfortunate but I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to play again.”

Yuvraj is currently slated to feature for the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in the 2016 Indian Premier League when he recovers from his ankle injury.

© Cricket World 2016