VISAKHAPATNAM, Sept 8 (PTI): The much-hyped comeback of Yuvraj Singh after surviving from rare germ cell cancer turned into an anti-climax in the end as the first T20 International between India and New Zealand here today was abandoned due to heavy downpour without a ball being bowled.
The heavens opened up at around 6 pm and after two hours of incessant rain, the official announcement came at around 8:15 pm with the giant scoreboard showing, “Due to heavy rain the match has been called off”, much to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.
It was a match where 21 players from either side were completely overshadowed by one man – Yuvraj. From the time, he had stepped into this coastal city of Visakhapatnam, all eyes have been on stylish left-hander.
If there was a sell-out weekend crowd at the stadium, it was primarily due to the pre-match build-up terming it as Yuvraj’s return to international cricket.
Supporters came with placards reading, “‘Goodbye Cancer, Welcome Back Sixer’, ‘Yuvi, we want again 6x6 six sixers’, ‘The King of Sixer is Back’, ‘Yuvi Is Back’, “God please stop the rain, we want to see Yuvi back again’.
Once the match was called off, the Andhra Cricket Association felicitated Yuvraj with a nice memento and he did a lap of honour for the spectators who gave him a standing ovation.
A small faction among the spectators vented their ire by throwing ‘paper missiles’ and it took some effort from the security personnel to pacify the crowd who were seemingly frustrated at a single delivery not being sent down.
It was really disappointing for Yuvraj as he was waiting to get into his favourite No 12 jersey and had written on his twitter page: “Few hours to go till I wear my favourite jersey.”
Yuvraj had earlier said,”I guess this would be the my biggest day after my World Cup final and I am really overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone who have send me wishes.”
Giving credit to his mother Shabanam and friends, he further wrote: “This would not have been posssible without your love and courage. On the field, I just expect to enjoy the moment and hopefully lot of awareness will spread through YouWeCan today. The message I want to send today, is that if Yuvi can you too can fight cancer and come back where you belong.
“So shout YouWeCan today all those who u survivors and r goin to survive. And for the cancer society ! See u on the field and I hope it doesn’t rain.”
Organisers ACA in all likelihood would refund the ticket price as an announcement on the giantscreen instructed the spectators to keep their tickets safely as there would soon be an announcement in the newspapers.
The second and final T20I of the series is scheduled in Chennai on September 11.