Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has revealed how he was starstruck after meeting his ‘childhood hero’ Sachin Tendulkar for the first time. Shortly after winning the U-19 World Cup for India, Yuvraj was slotted in the senior side, making him share the dressing room with a team filled with superstars.
Yuvraj, who broke into the Indian side during ICC Knockout Trophy in the year 2000, recalled how he was adamant to not take the vacant seat next to Tendulkar. However, it was his manager who convinced him to sit beside the ‘Master Blaster’, arguably the best batsman at that time. Yuvraj and Tendulkar played together for India until the latter bid adieu to the sport in 2012.
Both Yuvraj and Tendulkar had an impressive outing in the 2011 World Cup which India won after a long wait of 28 years. Tendulkar, playing his last World Cup, finished as the tournament’s second-highest run-scorer with 482 runs.
While Yuvraj, labelled as the man for the big occasion, clinched the Player of the Tournament trophy after scoring 362 runs including a ton and four-half centuries. To top it off, he also took 15 wickets and won four Man of the Match awards in the mega-event.
“I can’t really explain what it was like to meet my childhood hero. I was over the moon, I was going in the dressing room before the camp started,” Yuvraj said in a video uploaded by Netflix titled ‘Stories Behind the Story.’
“I had only one seat available, which was next to Tendulkar. I told my manager ‘I don’t think I can sit there’. He said ‘No, he’s going to be your teammate now. You have to talk to him. So I slowly went there, kept looking him up and down and I was like ‘Wow, it’s actually him.’”
Yuvraj also revealed how Tendulkar reacted after seeing his picture in the all-rounder’s kitbag. “I opened my kit bag and had a picture of him. He looked at it and said ‘Nice picture! Who’s that batsman?’. He laughed after that. Then I think he had a conversation with me and tried to make me comfortable,” said Yuvraj.