Yuvraj had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in June last year but had been training with the Punjab side recently and was made an offer he eventually could not refuse.
“I enjoyed spending time with these youngsters and talking to them about various aspects of the game, I realised that they were able to pick up various things that I was telling them,” Yuvraj told Cricbuzz.
“I had to get into the nets to show them a few other elements, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was hitting the ball even though I hadn’t held a bat for a really long time.
“I also trained for those two months, and then I started to bat in the off-season camp. I made runs in some of the practice matches. Mr Puneet Bali, the secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association, approached me after one of the sessions and asked me if I would reconsider coming out of retirement.”
“I couldn’t ignore Mr Bali’s request”: Yuvraj
The 2011 World Cup ‘Player of the tournament’ admitted it wasn’t a decision he made lightly but when his mind was made up, he quickly sent a mail to the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, seeking permission to come out of his retirement.
“Initially, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to take up the offer. I was done with domestic cricket, though I did want to continue to play in other domestic franchise-based leagues worldwide if I got permission from the BCCI.
“But I also couldn’t ignore Mr Bali’s request. I gave it a lot of thought, for nearly three or four weeks, and it was almost as if I didn’t even have to make a conscious decision in the end.
“The motivation is to help Punjab win championships. Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh), myself, we have won tournaments, but we haven’t done it together for Punjab, so that was a big factor in my final call.”
In a 17-year-long international career, Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is. Overall, he has played 231 T20s and scored 4857 runs at an average of 25.69.