New Delhi: After 25 years in and around the 22 yards and almost 17 years of international cricket, swashbuckling batsman Yuvraj Singh on Monday announced his retirement from the game and the cricket fraternity took to Twitter to post their tributes to the man who almost single-handedly won India the 2011 World Cup.
Starting off in 2000 in the ICC KnockOut Trophy, he last played a Test for India in 2012 and last featured in a limited-over series in 2017.
The 37-year-old had a dream run in the 2011 World Cup, amassing 362 runs, including one century and four fifties. He also picked up 15 wickets, won four Man-of-the-Match awards besides being named the Player of the Tournament.
In the process, he became the first all-rounder to score 300-plus runs and take 15 wickets in a single edition of the showpiece event.
"Congratulations on a wonderful career playing for the country paji. You gave us so many memories and victories and I wish you the best for life and everything ahead. Absolute champion. @YUVSTRONG12," India skipper Virat Kohli tweeted.
Yuvraj's former teammate, Mohammad Kaif, who played a key role in India's historic victory in the 2002 NatWest Trophy along with Yuvraj, said: "One of the greatest match-winners in the history of the game, a fighter who built an extraordinary career through difficult challenges & came out a winner every time - We all are so proud of you #YuvrajSingh, u can be very proud of what u have you done for our country @YUVSTRONG12."
Posting a photo of the two holding the World Cup trophy in 2011, Sachin Tendulkar tweeted, "What a fantastic career you have had Yuvi. You have come out as a true champ everytime the team needed you. The fight you put up through all the ups & downs on & off the field is just amazing. Best of luck for your 2nd innings & thanks for all that you have done for Indian Cricket."
"Players will come and go, but players like @YUVSTRONG12 are very rare to find. Gone through many difficult times but thrashed disease, thrashed bowlers & won hearts. Inspired so many people with his fight & will-power. Wish you the best in life, Yuvi #YuvrajSingh. Best wishes always," former India opener Virender Sehwag tweeted.
V.V.S. Laxman also remebered Yuvraj's notable contribution to Indian cricket and tweeted: "It's been an absolute pleasure playing with Yuvi. You will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. You have been an inspiration to us with your resilience, determination & above all the love & passion you showed towards the game. Good luck @YUVSTRONG12."
"End of an era! Yuvi pa, ur ability with the bat, the glorious 6s, the impeccable catches & the good times we've had, will be missed beyond years. The class & grit u brought to the field will be an inspiration forever. Thank u, @YUVSTRONG12 Have an equally remarkable 2nd innings!," Suresh Raina tweeted.
England's Stuart Broad, who was at the receiving end of Yuvraj's six sixes in the 2007 World T20, also paid tribute to the southpaw. "Enjoy retirement legend," said Broad and posted a photo of the pair shaking hands after that fateful match on his Instagram account.
Broad's former teammate Kevin Pietersen reiterated the "pie-chucker" label that he had put on Yuvraj during the peak of the pair's rivalry in 2008. "Happy retirement, Pie Chucker. A quite remarkable career with plenty highs and some pretty brutal lows. You showed resilience, courage & pure brilliance throughout your time wearing blue! Love ya, @YUVSTRONG12!" Pieteren tweeted.
Jasprit Bumrah, who shared the Mumbai Indians' dressing room with Yuvraj in this year's Indian Premier League, tweeted, "You've been a constant source of support and inspiration with countless memories and countless hearts won. Congratulations on your glorious career and all the best Yuvi paa! @YUVSTRONG12."
Harbhajan Singh, who won the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup with Yuvraj, tweeted, "My Warrior Prince - A true fighter on and off the field.. your stories will forever live on.. love always brother @YUVSTRONG12 #sixerking #Brother #Legend."
Ishant Sharma tweeted, "Yuvi paji! I still remember when I played my 2nd test match against Pakistan in Bangalore and u were there I was quietly sitting in a corner as I was youngster, so you approached me and said - tension na le enjoy the journey of test cricket! All the best for future!! @YUVSTRONG12."
Pakistan's Kamran Akmal also extended his best wishes to Yuvraj. "@YUVSTRONG12 one of the best talented player produced by India.it was an absolute pleasure playing VS him and always enjoyed his company off the field.Wish you all the very best brother for future," he tweeted.
Vinod Kambli shared a 40-run stand with a 19-year-old Yuvraj Singh when the latter scored 84 in his ODI debut against Australia in 2000.
"Your 1st innings in Intl cricket was along side me & to have seen you grow into one of India's finest ever players was just amazing. Your career is an example for every young kid and I wish everyone looks up to you for inspiration. Best wishes for your life ahead, @YUVSTRONG12," Kambli tweeted.