Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh said he was motivated by Andrew Flintoff’s sledging and a desire for revenge when he hit six sixes in an over against England in 2007.
Yuvraj, now 38, has been looking back at that match as part of a wide-ranging interview with The Doosra podcast, in which he also talks about his recovery from cancer in 2011 and the work he is doing with his YouWeCan Foundation to spread awareness of the illness.
India were going well in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match against England, reaching 171 for three at the end of the 18th over batting first.
I was just happy the six sixes came against England because I got hit for five sixes by Dimitri Mascarenhas a few weeks earlier in an ODI
Perhaps desperate to stall India’s progress, all-rounder Flintoff tried to engage Yuvraj in some verbals.
The result - for bowler Stuart Broad, Flintoff and England - was cricketing carnage.
“I was just happy the six sixes came against England because I got hit for five sixes by Dimitri Mascarenhas a few weeks earlier in an ODI.
“When I hit the sixth six, obviously the first look was at Flintoff but the second look was at Dimitri, who gave me a smile.”
Yuvraj’s 58 off 14 balls proved to be the difference as an already eliminated England, chasing 219 to win, lost by 18 runs.
India went on to win the inaugural tournament of what is now known as the T20 World Cup, beating Pakistan in the final by five runs.
“His dad, Chris Broad, is a Match Referee and he came up to me the next day and said ‘you almost finished my son’s career and now you need to sign a shirt for him’,” added Yuvraj.
“Stuart is one of the best bowlers in the world now. I don’t think any bowler from India could get hit for six sixes in an over and then have such a fantastic career.” (BBC)