NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday picked Yuvraj Singh, who is recovering from cancer, in a 30-man preliminary squad for the World Twenty20 to be played in Sri Lanka later this year.
The 30-year-old, regarded as one of the most flamboyant batsmen in world cricket, completed chemotherapy in the United States in April after being diagnosed with a rare germ-cell tumour between his lungs early last year.
Yuvraj, who has not played competitive cricket since the two home Tests against the West Indies in November, only recently began light training at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
It is not certain that Yuvraj will be selected in the final 15-man squad that must be finalised by mid-August for the September 18-October 7 tournament.
The left-hander will need to play club cricket in the intervening period if he is to remain a serious contender for the tournament.
Yuvraj, speaking in an International Cricket Council television show last month, declined to give a time frame on being match-fit.
“I've done six or seven sessions of very light training and very light yoga,” he said. “I'm just getting back into the groove of being a normal person.
“I can't really give a timeframe but I have to see how my body is recovering and how fast I can come on the field. I might take six months, I might take two months. So I don't know.
“But the day I feel 100 percent I surely will be back.”
Yuvraj played a key role in India's 50-over World Cup triumph last year, scoring 362 runs and taking 15 wickets in nine matches to be named the man of the tournament.
He rose to fame when he smashed England's fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over during the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, which India went on to win.
India failed to reach the semi-finals in the next two editions in 2009 in England and 2010 in the West Indies.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been out of favour since the England tour last year, was also named in the preliminary squad announced by the Indian board in a media release.
India's preliminary squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Lakshmipathy Balaji.