That day I cried like a baby not because I feared what cancer would do but because I didn’t want the disease. I wanted my life to be normal, which it could not be.’
For the first time Yuvraj Singh tells the real story behind the 2011 World Cup when on-the-field triumph hid his increasingly puzzling health problems and worrying illnesses. In his debut book The test of my life, he reveals how—plagued with insomnia, coughing fits that left him vomiting blood, and an inability to eat—he made a deal with God. On the night before the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final, Yuvraj prayed for the World Cup in return for anything God wanted. In this book, he lays bare his fears, doubts, and the lows he experienced during chemotherapy— when he lost his energy, his appetite, and his hair—and his battle to find the will to survive. Poignant, personal, and moving—The test of my life—is about cancer and cricket; but more importantly, it is about the human will to fight adversity and triumph despite all odds.
This book, the story of how Yuvraj fought his demons, is simple, straightforward and brutally honest. The Yuvraj we know, the fun-loving, cheerful and prankster guy can be seen in the first half of the book. I've always been a fan of Sharda Ugra and have been following her writings in Cricinfo. She has a simple yet powerful way of conveying her thoughts and that style shines through in this book as well. Yuvraj's early childhood days, his happy family and his passion to become someone big are brought out beautifully in the initial part of the book. The first tears arrive on the reader's eyes when Yuvray describes his struggles during the World Cup 2011 series. I am one of the ardent followers of Indian Cricket and I must say I noticed nothing wrong with Yuvraj when the series was going on. Yuvraj's passion for the sport, his strong desire to be a part of World Cup winning team had enabled him to conceal his physical struggles and go through with the series. And how he fought in the series! Like a raging bull, ready to decimate anyone who came between him and the World Cup. Winning the World Cup was a fitting tribute to his man and his hunger to achieve big.
And then came the Cancer! It was so sudden, so shocking that no one knew what to do. It was obvious Yuvraj was suffering from some physical ailments but no one imagined it to be this big! Yes, it was CANCER - the deadly killer!
Yuvraj had fought a lot of bowlers on the field, but this was different. This was his first battle off the field, and this was against a deadly disease. Yuvraj, being the warrior he is, did not lose hope. How he fought it and came out a winner is best left to the book to describe. It is enough if I say the book has done a great job of it.
Yuvraj's fight against Cancer, the help he received from various friends and family members, the love and support he got from the entire world are sources of great inspiration for all those Cancer fighters out there. Yuvraj's victory is a testimony that Cancer can be defeated and overcome. That he managed to return to competitive cricket in such a short time is proof his passion for the game.
It is only when life puts us in such tough situations that we learn to understand the value of the small things and the people around us. This book brings out this fact in an exemplary manner. A must read book for everyone - a true source of inspiration!
“I was not going to feel sorry for myself. No, why should I? When my form came back, or when I picked up wickets, or when I got the big scores, or when I got player of the match, or hit six sixes, had I ever asked God, ‘why me?’ Of course not. Often in my career, I have been the man with silver in the fist. Have I ever asked God, ‘why me?’ No, never. So when the illness came I had no right to ask ‘why me?”
“What was seminoma, I asked Dr Ashish at one point. A rarest of rare kind of germ cell tumour, he explained, a manageable tumour. I asked him to explain further and this was his reply: Look, he said, your tumour may not be Sachin Tendulkar, but Virat Kohli it is. He can also be dangerous and after all you do need to get him out. I still laugh at this analogy. Later one day I remembered to tell Cheeku about this and he couldn’t believe how much respect the doctor had given him.”
Read about Sachin Tendulkar here.