Yuvraj Singh has revealed why he thinks he missed out on the India captaincy.© AFP
Yuvraj Singh starred for the Indian cricket team in its golden phase. He was one of the top performers when India won the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 ICC 50-over World Cup. However, he could never lead India as a full-time captain. The great all-rounder has now opened up on the reasons why MS Dhoni was chosen over him for the 2007 World T20 despite him being the ODI vice-captain in the preceding tour of England. Singh said because he took Sachin Tendulkar‘s side during a tumultuous period in Indian cricket under coach Greg Chappell, some BCCI officials might not have wanted him to become the India captain.
Former Australian cricket team player Chappell was the India coach from 2005 to 2007. During that period he had spats with both Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. The latter, in his biopic ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’, said: “A number of senior players disagreed with the manner in which Chappell was handling our side. Just before a month from the World Cup, he made drastic changes in the batting order that affected everyone in the side.”
Chappell’s decisions led to discomfort in the camp, and Singh said that his stance in the incident led to him never becoming a full-time Indian cricket team captain.
“I was supposed to be the captain. Then the Greg Chappell incident happened. It had become Chappell or Sachin. I was probably the only player who supported…that I support my teammate. And there were a lot of people in the…Some of the BCCI officials did not like that. It was said that they should make anybody the captain but not myself. This is what I heard. I am not sure how true it is. Suddenly from vice-captaincy I was removed. Sehwag was not there in the team. So, out of nowhere Mahi became captain for the 2007 T20 World Cup. I thought I was going to be the captain,” Singh told Sanjay Manjrekar during an interview on Sports18.
“Viru was senior but he was not on the England tour. I was the vice-captain of the ODI team while Rahul was the captain. So, I was supposed to be the captain. Obviously, it was a decision that went against me but I have no regrets about it. Today, if the same thing happens, I will still support my teammate.
“After a while, I thought Mahi was getting really good in captaincy. He was probably the right guy to lead in ODI cricket. Then I started getting injured a lot. Even if I was made the captain, I would have to go. Injuries were taking a toll on my body for a while. Everything happens for the best. I actually don’t regret not having the captaincy of India. It would have been a huge honour. But I would always choose my teammate, if bad things have been said about his character, I would always stand up for my teammate.”
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