Sunday, 30 June 2013 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

Yuvi by Makarand Waingankar (Book Review)!!!

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   Yuvraj Singh's cancer experience made him write a book "The Test of My Life" which was published by Random House India in the first quarter of this year. The book was loved by everyone. Not only Yuvraj Singh's fans but almost everyone who wanted to know how a beloved Cricketer of the nation recovered from Cancer. The result is that the book ended up being At No. 1 in the Bestseller list for almost 2 weeks. It isn't consistent but the sale are constant. After reading this book, I never thought that I would be needing any other book to know Yuvraj's life that I am unaware of as the book covered almost everything. But recently, reading "Yuvi", a 143-pages biography written by Makarand Waingankar, a man who is mainly known as the person behind bringing Dhoni and Raina in International Cricket, made me realize that only a person who has seen someone can write everything in a real blunt way without caring about what the person and his family would feel. It surprised me more because the way Mr. Makarand has talked about Yograj Singh even after being his friend for decades is something not many would dare.


About the Author
Makarand Waingankar is one of India’s most widely read cricket columnists, best known for blending meticulous research with his own experience of a life lived on the cricket fields of India. Journalist, columnist, researcher, talent-spotter and administrator, he wears a multitude of hats, each of which fits snugly on his head. He launched the Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) on behalf of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in 2002 and the TRDW has since been responsible for taking many small-town players to the national stage, including current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In fact, seven such players were part of the 2011 World Cup winning team. Makarand has also been CEO of Baroda Cricket Association and Consultant to Karnataka State Cricket Association’s academy.

Synopsis of the Book
No Indian player has captured the imagination of cricket- lovers in the way that Yuvraj Singh has over the past decade. Fiery batsman, deceptive bowler, flat-out fielder, Yuvraj has been in the news for his remarkable skills with bat and ball, his glamorous lifestyle off the ground and, more recently, for his courageous battle against a life-threatening illness.

In this first-ever account of its kind, veteran cricket administrator and coach Makarand Waingankar, who has known Yuvraj practically since the day he was born, recalls the rise of the young cricketer, his early years, the tremendous highs and depressing lows in his tumultuous career.

With inputs from Yuvrajs parents, his friends, peers and senior players, and written with a rare insight and affection for his subject, this is an eminently readable account of a young cricketers life, from the earliest days to his triumphant crowning as the World Cup champion in 2011.

         Coming to the review, I met Mr. Makarand Waingankar 2 weeks ago. It was a nice 15 minutes chat with him. I thanked him for giving us Dhoni and Raina while he joked to launch me if I am also an aspiring Cricketer. He was a very generous person. He never made me feel that I was just a commoner who came there to experience him. Until then I didn't know that he is also a writer. Only before meeting him, I came to know that he has written a biography on Yuvraj Singh as he got an offer for doing the same. I kept thinking as to why would he write a biography on Yuvi when he has launched some other Cricketers. But I came to know that he is with his father since he wasn't even a Cricketer. Hence he knows all the details behind Yuvraj's rising as a Cricketer who can never be forgotten easily by his fans and Cricket lovers.
 
        The author has been very blunt while speaking about Yuvraj's failure in Test Cricket. He said it very clear that Yuvraj has not been very serious about his Cricket as he should have been. I also liked his bluntness when he said that Dhoni always preferred Raina even when he wanted Yuvraj in his team. It is not easy to remark a Captain of the country so gustily. And it's more tough when you have launched the same person in the game. The other part which I loved was when the author tells how Yuvraj used to admire Ganguly as a Captain and how even Ganguly liked him very much. But the situation kept demanding Yuvraj's entry in the squad only when Ganguly used to get eliminate from the team due to injury or other reasons. That's something which seems to be so difficult for the 2 persons who love each other but their survival depends on the elimination of the other. 

             This book is more about the treatment that Yograj's father did with Yuvraj while training him for Cricket and the victim that Yuvraj Singh was. Yograj Singh's chapter is the best part about the book. After reading that, one will think that Yograj Singh wasn't that evil and bad as we know he is. But yes, he was and even after reading The Test Of My Life, I had decided that I would never be a strict father to my son. But what made me feel bad was Yuvraj Singh's behavior with his father. What I also didn't like was Shabnam Singh, Yuvraj's mother's hand in increasing the distance between father-son. Hey, sorry. This " I didn't like" parts is about Yuvraj's life and not about the book. Uff!!! The job of reviewing book isn't easy. :-) Even the climax, the way last 4 paragraphs are written will want you to hug the author immediately. :-)

            What I didn't like is- No discussion about Yuvi's relation with his brother, his friends and other teammates. I am happy that author didn't tell about his matches and performances and mainly discussed his personal life but still, there was lot that could have been covered. All the controversies, his girlfriends, his confessions in press conferences etc. I also didn't like the statistics that are presented in the end of the book. That could have been much much better than the way it has been written- in a quite simplistic manner. In all, I would say that if you are reading this, also read The Test Of My Life written by Yuvraj, and vice-versa. Only then you will enjoy reading Yuvraj Singh's life. I would give this biography- 3.5/5
 Thanks.

 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU!!!

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