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Over a year after retirement, Yuvraj to play for Punjab

Yuvraj Singh on Wednesday confirmed that he will be back to playing for Punjab in the upcoming domestic season.

Yuvraj, who retired from international cricket in June last year, has played some T20 and T10 cricket since then, but the left-handed batsman now intends to play for Punjab, at least in the shortest format, whenever the domestic season starts.

Over the last few months, the 38-year-old has been working with youngsters like Shubman Gill, Abhishek Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh and Anmolpreet Singh at the PCA Stadium in Mohali at the request of the Punjab Cricket Association.

“I enjoyed spending time with these youngsters and talking to them about various aspects of the game. I realized that they were able to pick up various things that I was telling them,” Yuvraj said on Wednesday.

“I had to get into the nets to show them a few other elements, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was hitting the ball even though I hadn’t held a bat for a really long time.”

Last month, PCA secretary Puneet Bali requested Yuvraj to come back to play for the state team and the swashbuckler has decided to honour the request.

“Initially, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to take up the offer,” Yuvraj said.

“I was done with domestic cricket, though I did want to continue playing in other domestic franchise-based leagues worldwide if I got permission from the BCCI. But I also couldn’t ignore Mr Bali’s request. I gave it a lot of thought, for nearly three or four weeks, and it was almost as if I didn’t even have to make a conscious decision in the end,” he said.

“The motivation is to help Punjab win championships. Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh), myself, we have won tournaments, but we haven’t done it together for Punjab, so that was a big factor in my final call.”