New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh, who is battling cancer, has found support from his India teammate Virender Sehwag who wished him a speedy recovery
"Yuvraj I heard is taking chemotherapy but I'm hoping that he will be fine and he'll come back soon. We will all pray for Yuvraj and wish he'll be fit soon," he said.
Speaking on the eve of the second ODI against Sri Lanka of the CB series, Sehwag said he was confident that the stylish left-hander, who played a stellar role in India's World Cup win, will emerge victorious in his battle.
"He'll come out of whatever problem he is having and he can play as soon as possible," Sehwag said.
The star of India's spectacular World Cup win last year has been diagnosed with a rare type of seminoma or germ cell tumour. His doctor said he was fighting his illness strongly. Yuvraj has been in USA since last month.
On Monday, his doctor Dr Nitesh Rohtagi spoke to the media at length about his condition and said his disease was "fully curable".
Dr Rohatagi particularly said: "Association with the word cancer is negative. His condition is completely curable. He has got a rare type of seminoma," he said, adding that the flamboyant batsman would undergo therapy for nine weeks and could be back on the field in the first week of May.
Yuvraj, said the doctor, was very tough mentally and was doing better than most in the same situation. "He is presently not as fit as he was this time last year. He however is doing much better than others who have this condition," he said adding that doctors in the USA are working closely with a medical team in India. "At present he is reading books including the autobiography of Lance Armstrong. He is playing video games and is going for walks," the doctor said.
Yuvraj's tumour was first detected in October last year; doctors said then that it was benign. It was later found to be malignant. The 30-year-old is being treated in the US since since last month and has undergone chemotherapy at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston. He is being treated by the same doctor who treated legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 testicular cancer in 1996. The cyclist recovered to go on to win the sport's most prestigious race, the Tour de France, an unprecedented seven times.
Yuvraj's ailment was diagnosed at the first stage. "He is responding well to treatment. In fact the doctor keeps asking him if he belongs to a very strong bloodline," Yuvraj's father, former cricketer Yograj Singh, said on Monday afternoon. "The doctor has told Yuvraj 'I will send you from here as a new champion and you will be stronger than before, a thing like this cancer won't exist for you anymore that is my promise'," Yograj Singh added.
Yuvraj's family has thanked the Indian Cricket Board for insisting that Yuvraj undergo further check-ups in the US. The board, said Yuvraj's father, had been like a father to his son.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has in a statement wished Yuvraj a speedy recovery and asked the media to "respect the privacy of his family". Sports Minister Ajay Maken tweeted on Sunday night, "Wish Yuvraj a speedy recovery! Asking officials to find the quantum and nature of help required. Government shld & will help him (sic)". There are many more tweets.
Teammates like Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth expressed their support. Yuvraj is a favourite in Bollywood and wishes poured in from those quarters too.
Schoolchildren and cricket fans have joined the celebs in wishing the batsman a speedy recovery. In Faridkot, Punjab, School students held a special prayer in a Gurudwara to wish their hero well. Several social organisations also held prayers.
Yuvraj also found advices from former cricketers Dave Callaghan and Geoffrey Boycott, both of them being cancer survivors.
"Set yourself a goal. Yuvraj will do well to tell himself, 'by the end of my treatment, I would like to play... for example... next year's IPL (Indian Premier League).' A target to work towards is important," said Callaghan, the former South Africa all-rounder, who overcame testicular cancer to play international cricket in the 1990s and early 2000.
"I would advise him to stay positive and do everything what he can," said Boycott, who overcame throat cancer.
Yuvraj has played 37 Tests, scoring 1775 runs at an average of 34.80.
He has 8051 runs at an average of 37.62 from his 274-match ODI career, the highlight of which was his stellar role in India's World Cup triumph last year.