New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh, who underwent three cycles of chemotherapy in United States for a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs, returned home today to a rousing welcome and among the many is master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar, who is nursing his injured finger, wished his Team India member a speedy recovery and tweeted: "Got well soon?. Welcome back home my brother after winning a tough battle with cancer." (Pics: On Twitter, Sachin and other celebs welcome Yuvraj)
Yuvraj thanked everyone for their prayers and wishes as he returned to India this morning after defeating his toughest and biggest opponent for three months.
Sporting a black jacket and a red cap, the 30-year-old landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this morning from London and headed to his home in Gurgaon. His mother Shabnam Singh was there to receive him.
Flashing a victory sign and a smile, Yuvraj walked through patiently towards a white Audi SUV, which drove him to his home from the airport.
Yuvraj's fans mobbed the airport to catch a glimpse of their favorite cricketer and wish him a speedy recovery. Some of his fans and mediapersons also gathered outside his home where he spoke briefly. When asked about what his mother had cooked for him, he disclosed that it's 'Gobhi ke paranthe'.
He also requested the media persons to give him a break for now as he would be answering all their questions on Wednesday.
His mother spoke to the media and said Yuvraj has been advised rest for 10-15 days. "He is absolutely fine. He's been advised rest for 10-15 days."
She also said that it's been a tough period. "It was tough. But we are happy that he's back. It's like we have won the World Cup again. (Read More)
His father Yograj Singh also spoke to NDTV and said he's happy to see his son emerge as a winner. "Don't know how to thank u all. I am thankful to the god, to the people of this country. You prayed for my child and he's come back as a winner. I am proud of him and I love him a lot," he said. (Read More...)
"He has come back hale and hearty. I cry sometimes because of this happiness," he added.
When asked about what gave Yuvraj the strength to fight against the ailment, Yograj said: "The strength comes from god. I have always taught him to live fearlessly and not fear death. I instilled this in him since the beginning. These things have to be inducted in a child. Life is full of a lot of troubles and one has to keep fighting them at all steps."
"When you believe in god, he gives you the strength. When you make death your friend and show the world that you are here to do more great work, the universe stands with you."
When asked when he would be meeting his son since he was not there at the airport, Yograj said: "I want to meet Yuvraj in person where there is no one else except for him, me and God. I didn't want to do it publically."
"People like Yuvraj Singh are not born every day. He knew about his health during the World Cup but he played and won the title. It's his spirit that gave him strength. I salute him and am very proud of him," he added.
After taking three sessions of chemotherapy, Yuvraj had moved to London before returning home. He is recovering at a good pace.
Soon after reports of Yuvraj's arrival broke, veteran actor Anupam Kher tweeted: "Welcome back Yuvraj Singh. You are our REAL Life Hero. Your journey and courage is amazingly inspiring. Waiting to see you on the field.:)"
The fan club of his IPL team, Pune Warriors India tweeted: "Warrior Yuvraj Singh ( @YUVSTRONG12 ) is back in India. Welcome back Yuvi."
On Sunday, Yuvraj had tweeted: "finally the day has come ! i am going home tomorrow ! cant wait , excited to see my friends and family ..see you india!! mera bharat mahan !"
The southpaw, however, is not expected to play for a few months and he's predicted to return to the cricket field closer to the end of 2012.
Yuvraj was discharged from the hospital last month. He is expected to announce his future plans and details about treatment received on Wednesday.
Throughout his stay in Boston, the flamboyant cricketer was active on Twitter and thanked well-wishers for their prayers and support. His idol in Lance Armstrong had posted a 19-second video on Twitter urging him to keep moving forward optimistically.
"Hi Yuvi, I am Lance Armstrong and welcome home. Man you have got one big following, I have heard about you every hour of every day since you have been diagnosed. We are pulling for you, so glad you are healthy now. Have a great life, don't look back, live strong buddy," the 40-year-old American had said.
The left-handed batsman, who was met by fellow cricketers such as Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar during the course of his treatment, is not expected to play for a few more months.
Yuvraj will announce his future plans and details about treatment that he underwent in a press conference on Wednesday.
Yuvraj has been out of action since November when he last played a Test against the West Indies. However his last ODI was the World Cup final against Sri Lanka on April 2, 2011. He missed the entire Australian tour and also the ongoing the Indian Premier League season 5 due to his ailment.
Yuvraj has scored 8,051 runs in 274 one-dayers and 1,775 runs in 37 Tests since making his international debut in 2000. His fans are eagerly waiting to see him return to the field, where he really belongs, completely fit.
Story first published on: Monday, 09 April 2012 10:21 IST