Cricket

Harbhajan Singh announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday announced retirement from all forms of competitive cricket.

The 41-year-old from Punjab took 417 wickets in 103 Tests, 269 wickets in 236 ODIs and 25 scalps in 28 T20Is in his illustrious career. In the IPL across 13 seasons for Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders, he has scalped 150 wickets in 163 matches.

Harbhajan, who made his India debut during an ODI against New Zealand at Sharjah in 1998, last played for the country in March, 2016 during a T20I against the UAE at Dhaka.

Harbhajan was an integral member of the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup winning team.

“All good things come to an end and today as I bid adieu to the game that has given me everything in life, I would like to thank everyone who made this 23-year-long journey beautiful and memorable.
My heartfelt thank you, Grateful,” he wrote on Twitter.

Harbhajan featured in a few matches during the first phase of the IPL 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders but didn’t get to play a game in the UAE leg of the tournament.

“In my mind, I retired earlier but I am making the announcement today,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.

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“My journey from the streets of Jalandhar to become the Turnabator for Team India has been a beautiful one. There is no bigger motivation for me in life than stepping out on the field, wearing the India jersey.

“There comes a time in life where we have to take a tough decision, you have to move forward in life. I was waiting for the last few years to make this announcement public — I am retiring from all forms of cricket.”

Harbhajan Singh is one of India’s most successful off-spin bowlers. He made his Test debut against Australia in 1998. His bowling action was brought into question early in his career and that led him to switch to his trademark windmilling whiplash action.

Harbhajan burst into national prominence in the 2001 Test series in which India hosted Steve Waugh’s all conquering Australian side. Harbhajan picked 32 wickets, becoming the first Indian to take a Test hat trick on his way to the total. He went on to become an important player for India in all formats of the game for nearly a decade under Sourav Ganguly first and the Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Harbhajan has also had his fair share of controversies, most prominently the ‘Monkey-gate’ when India toured Australia in 2007-08. Harbhajan is also known for his aggressive, almost swashbuckling style of batting and has scored two Test centuries in his career.

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