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Yuvraj Singh named ambassador for T20 World Cup 2024; says Surakumar, Bumrah key to India's prospects

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday appointed Indian cricket legend Yuvraj Singh as the Ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Indian cricket legend Yuvraj Singh named ambassador for T20 World Cup 2024; dissects India's options for squad snt
First Published Apr 26, 2024, 3:26 PM IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday appointed Indian cricket legend Yuvraj Singh as the Ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. With just 36 days remaining until the premier global event for T20 cricket kicks off, the 2011 World Cup hero's presence adds significant excitement.

Yuvraj Singh, renowned for his memorable 36-run over during the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, where India emerged victorious, will participate in various promotional activities leading up to and during the tournament in the United States. One of the highlights will be his presence at the highly anticipated India versus Pakistan clash in New York on 9 June.

"Some of my fondest cricketing memories have come from playing at the T20 World Cup, including hitting six sixes in an over, so it’s very exciting to be part of this edition, which is set to be the biggest one yet," said Yuvraj Singh following his appointment as ambassador for the showpiece event.

"The West Indies is a great place to play cricket with the fans coming to watch creating a vibe that is completely unique to that part of the world, while cricket is also expanding in the USA and I’m excited to be part of that growth through the T20 World Cup," he added.

"India’s clash against Pakistan in New York is going to be one of the biggest sporting fixtures in the world this year, so it’s a privilege to be a part of and to witness the best players in the world playing in a new stadium," Yuvraj further stated.

Yuvraj Singh reveals who he thinks India should select in T20 World Cup 2024 squad

Yuvraj Singh delved into the crucial decisions facing India regarding their first-choice wicket-keeper and highlighted the pivotal player who needs to deliver. Additionally, he shared insights into the future trajectories of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Yuvraj Singh wasted no time in pinpointing the pivotal figures for India's success in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean. He emphasized the importance of world No.1 ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav delivering a stellar performance throughout the tournament for India to clinch the title. Additionally, he underscored the critical role of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, stressing the need for him to be in peak form.

"Suryakumar Yadav (is India's key player)," the Indian cricket legend suggested.

"Because the way he plays, he can change the complexion of a game in 15 balls. And he is definitely a surety…for India to win this T20 World Cup, Surya is going to be the key," he said.

"I think Jasprit Bumrah is also the key with the bowling and I would like to see a leg-spinner in the squad as well, like Yuzvendra Chahal as he has been bowling really well. But being a batter, I would say Suryakumar Yadav (is the key player)," he further added.

Yuvraj Singh has acknowledged Dinesh Karthik's impressive performances for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League this year. However, he holds the belief that the veteran keeper should only secure a place in India's squad for the T20 World Cup if he is assured of a spot in the playing XI.

"DK (Karthik) has been batting well, but the thing with DK is the last time (2022) they picked him and the T20 WC was on he didn’t get to play,” Yuvraj noted.

"If DK is not in your XI I don’t think there is any point in picking him. There is Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and both guys are in great form and obviously they are younger. I would like to see DK in the mix, but if he is not going to play then you would rather have someone who is younger and can make the difference," he said.

Yuvraj Singh also advocated for a more explosive middle-order batting lineup for India at the T20 World Cup and has singled out Chennai Super Kings' left-handed batsman Shivam Dube as a player he believes should be included in the mix.

"I would like to see Shivam Dube in the squad," the T20 World Cup 2024 ambassador said.

"He has been in and out of the (India) team, but this IPL he has been batting very well and he is someone who can be the game-changer. There are a lot of other guys who have been playing for a while now, but I would like to see Shivam Dube in the mix," Yuvraj added.

Yuvraj Singh recognizes the immense significance of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to India's prospects at the upcoming T20 World Cup. While refraining from setting a specific retirement timeline for the duo from international cricket, Yuvraj proposes that Rohit and Kohli could contemplate stepping away from T20I cricket following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup.

"As you get older people start talking about your age and they forget about your form," Yuvraj said.

"These guys have been great players for India and they deserve to go (retire) when they want. I would like to see more younger players in the T20 format, because it gets the load off them (experienced players) playing 50-over (ODIs) and Test matches. After this (T20) World Cup I would like to see a lot of younger guys come into the team and make the T20 side for the next World Cup," the cricket icon added.

Yuvraj, renowned for his pivotal role in India's historic Men’s T20 World Cup triumph in 2007, where he famously dispatched England's Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes, still reminisces fondly about that iconic moment nearly two decades later.

Now, as an ambassador for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean in 2024, Yuvraj continues to be actively involved in the cricketing world. His expertise and passion for the game were evident as he discussed various aspects of this year's tournament and offered valuable perspectives on what India must do to clinch the coveted trophy for a second time.

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