Agitated Yuvraj denies reports of underperformance

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Yuvraj Singh has hit back strongly at the rumours that he was deliberately underperforming in the IPL after being stripped of Kings XI Punjab's captaincy.

Updated: April 03, 2010 13:49 IST
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New Delhi:

Star cricketer Yuvraj Singh has hit back strongly at the rumours that he was deliberately underperforming in the Indian Premier League after being stripped of Kings XI Punjab's captaincy.

In a twitter message, Yuvraj said, "I am disgusted & horrified. Injury is not easy and I've had 3 in a row and I hope to bounce back soon. I always try to give my best, no matter what the circumstance and right now I am struggling with my form. It happens to every player".

His mother Shabnam too defended Yuvraj and said her son never contemplated any change.

"An icon player cannot move out of his team till at least three years and Yuvraj knows this. He wasn't thinking about anything of this sort. All this is because he is not in good form," she explained.

Stories are doing the rounds that Yuvraj, going through a prolonged bad patch in the Twenty20 tournament, is sulking after losing captaincy to Sangakkara, who doesn't enjoy the full support of some players.

Media reports had said the Yuvraj-Sangakkara rift had pulled the team down and was the main reason behind the team's losing streak in this IPL season.

However, both the players denied the rumours of a rift.

Sangakkara, who is back at the helm after serving a one-match ban for the team's repeated slow over-rate, however, begged to differ and said all negative stories stem from the outfit's poor performance in IPL 3.

"There is no rift. Unfortunately there is a lot of disappointment when players don't get picked and players don't perform well. That is bound to happen. But there is no anger or any direct criticism of any particular player," he said.

Dismissing reports that he and Yuvraj were not on best of terms and that it was affecting the team morale, the Sri Lankan said, "You saw the warm up game we had. All the local, domestic, Indian and international players got on so well together. I believe that's the way cricket is. When you lose everyone opens themselves up to criticism, some fair and some unfair."

Yuvraj, meanwhile, was annoyed with the reports of a 'rift' between him and Sangakkara.

"If anybody is out of form, it does not mean you (media) can write anything," an angry-looking Yuvraj told a group of journalists as he kept walking towards his car after practice on Thursday.

"You cannot just go on and write one is against the other without any basis. Whatever is being written and said is not correct. There is no rift," said Yuvraj.

Sangakkara threw his weight behind out of form Yuvraj and said such bad patch was common for a cricketer.

"If you take any player, good or bad, some days they perform, some days they don't. Unfortunately, Yuvraj's preparation had been hampered by injury. In this competition, it's like a pressure cooker atmosphere. There is no let off, no time for rest and you have one game coming after the other," explained Sangakkara.

"Yuvraj is one of the best T20 batsmen in the world. Over the years, he has proved it with his performance. He is one player who is expected to perform every single game," said the Lankan.

Asked if it was Yuvraj's flamboyant lifestyle that made him vulnerable to scrutiny and criticism when he is not performing, Sangakkara said, "It depends on how one perceives.

Everyone who plays cricket around the world leads a positive lifestyle, which compliments it on the field as well.

"I don't think anyone should be like a prisoner in your own home. Everyone has a lot of individuality and uniqueness.

Yuvraj Singh is Yuvraj Singh. I think he is one who is not successful just on the field, but off the field as well. He has not changed one bit since he came in to the IPL and he has also made lot of contributions to the Indian team over the years," Sangakkara said.

The Lankan stumper-batsman said the whole team was looking forward to Friday's match and said it was important to be high on morale.

"Unfortunately, we have our backs to the wall. We have to make sure that we must win every game we play from here on.

And also make sure that our attitude is still the same, which is to go out there and win," he said.

(With Agency inputs)

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