Chandigarh, Apr 9: Despite the knowledge that he had developed a serious health problem, winning the World Cup was at the top of Yuvraj Singh's priority list around the time the mega-event was on, his father Yograj said on Monday.
"I salute the fighter, the soldier Yuvraj Singh. Today, I am a proud father. Before last year's World Cup, he told me that 'dad, winning the Cup is very important'. He told me that whatever happens to him won't matter, but 'if we win the Cup, it will be a great achievement, which will make the whole country proud'," an emotional Yograj said on Monday.
Yuvraj, who underwent three cycles of chemotherapy in the United States for a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs, returned to the country today to a rousing reception from adoring fans in New Delhi.
Received by his mother Shabnam at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, Yuvraj came on a Jet Airways flight this morning after spending some days in London to recuperate from the after-effects of the chemotherapy and headed straight to his home in Gurgaon.
Yograj said that Yuvraj was a tough character and had boldly faced his ailment, the name of which often sends a chill down the spine of many.
"He is a rare person. He is a gem and any parent will be proud to have such a son. Not many know that his condition was not good during the World Cup. Sometimes, he used to vomit blood but he was determined to lift the Cup for the country.
"Over the next few days, he will himself tell everything to the media," Yograj, cricketer-turned-film actor, said.
Meanwhile, in Yuvraj's hometown, Chandigarh fans recalled celebrating India lifting the World Cup a year ago.
"It's good that Yuvraj has returned. I still recall April 2011 when we had danced all night after India won the Cup. This April, the good news is, Yuvraj is back but it will take some time before he recovers fully. We want to see him in action soon. God give him good health," a die-hard Yuvi fan, Lalit Goel, said.