Cricket legend Yuvraj says cancer has given him focus

NEW DELHI - Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh believes that his battle with cancer has made him more disciplined but he confessed that he has suffered memory problems after undergoing chemotherapy.

The 30-year-old, who is recovering from a rare germ-cell tumour between his lungs, told the Hindu newspaper on Sunday that his illness had given him a fresh outlook on life.

"I'm more disciplined and more organised. I pray every day and I've learnt to be loyal to my body and myself," he said, confirming that he hoped to play in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.

"Family will give you love and support, but you have to take the initiative when you fight a disease like cancer. I'm happy to be in the right frame of mind now to chase my dreams."

Speaking on Saturday as he launched a campaign to improve early detection of cancer, Yuvraj said his post-chemotherapy period was difficult and that basic cricket training had given him a huge confidence boost.

"I had lost my memory and still thought it was 2011. I had lost taste for food. Now, I value every meal and also breathe with both lungs," Yuvraj said.

"I know I'm recovering well. The T20 World Cup will be a realistic target, but it is important for me to play cricket before that. The T20 games against New Zealand would be ideal."

New Zealand will play two T20 matches in India on September 8 and 11 before the World Cup starts in Sri Lanka on September 18.

"To have initial 'nets' (practice) was very special for me; I was so anxious and nervous," he said.

"The body was broken, but I knew it would all come back slowly. I was getting scared of the leather ball hitting me... but this anxiety has to go away. I've (got) to be confident when I get on to the field."

Yuvraj was named man of the tournament after India's World Cup triumph last year for his superb all-round show of 362 runs and 15 wickets.

He was diagnosed soon after the tournament and travelled to the United States for chemotherapy before being discharged in March.

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