Yuvraj Singh: The World Cup hero who bounced back from cancer

CNN’s Human to Hero series celebrates inspiration and achievement in sport. Click here for times, videos and features

Story highlights

India cricketer Yuvraj Singh was World Cup hero for India in 2011

The all-rounder was "Man of the Tournament" but was then diagnosed with cancer

The 33-year-old famously hit six sixes in an over at Twenty20 World Cup in 2007

Cricketer set up foundation after successful treatment and returned to action for India in 2012

CNN  — 

He has faced menacing bouncers and even once had to duck a glass of milk propelled at pace from his father’s hands, but it was an encounter with a different aggressor that proved cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s most frightening opponent.

The mercurial all-rounder had been in the form of his life at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, helping India win their first title in almost three decades when they beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Yuvraj had particular cause to celebrate after putting in a series of match-winning performances – his tally of 362 runs and 15 wickets in nine matches earned him the “Man of the Tournament” award.

“Everything came together at the World Cup and it was something really special. And just being together as a team, lifting the World Cup was a dream come true,” Yuvraj told CNN’s Human to Hero series.

But as each new chapter in that Indian sporting fairy tale was being written a more sinister narrative was unfolding deep inside Yuvraj’s body.

“I was coughing a lot. I was not able to breathe on my left side. I was struggling to breathe throughout the whole tournament (and) spitting a little bit of blood at times during games,” he recalls.