Yuvi and me: Preity Zinta

Sunday, 1 June 2014 - 6:25am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Though he no longer plays for her team, it hasn't affected Preity Zinta's friendship with the cricketer

I will never ever stop thanking Yuvraj Singh because it was he who suggested Sanjay Bangar to us as a coach. Darren Lehmann was our coach. He now coaches Australia and they didn't allow him to be a part of IPL because obviously he has a better job. So at the 11th hour we were thinking and we really wanted to focus on our Indian players as it's the Indian Premier League so Yuvi suggested Sanjay's name. I am deeply grateful to him for having recommended Sanjay Bangar and some others.

I am very much in touch with Yuvi. I am not the kind who becomes best friends with a person when you have work and stop talking when you don't have work with him/her. My relationships go beyond that. Of course, the media painted us as a dating couple... I didn't want to say he's my brother just to prove that I have a platonic relationship with him. I have two of my own brothers, but he's very dear to me. I absolutely love and adore him. He is like family to me. From his highest highs to his lowest lows and what I have seen of him in the last seven years I am so proud of him. We wanted to bid for Yuvi but we couldn't afford him eventually. But when I first got into cricket, he came with the team – there was no team but just an icon cricketer. So he was the first person that I got to know and I have been a fan of his ever since. He will always be very, very special to me.

—As told to Upala KBR

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