24-12-2021: Harbhajan Singh, a former Indian off-spinner, has announced his retirement from all forms of competitive cricket. A fighting and cheerful career come to an end.
Taking 417 wickets in 103 Tests, 269 wickets in 236 ODIs, and 25 wickets in 28 T20I, Harbhajan’s career marks glory. Along with it, his IPL run for 13 seasons with Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders, he has managed to add another 150 wickets in 163 matches to his name.
His presence in the World Cup 2011 winning Indian team as well 2007 T20 World Cup winning Indian team shows how crucial his role was in those successes.
Harbhajan made his international debut against New Zealand back in 1998 in an ODI at Sharjah. While his last match was in March 2016 in a T20I game at Dhaka.
Harbhajan Singh on his Youtube channel where he announced retirement: “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.
“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.”
Sachin Tendulkar’s Twitter post on Harbhajan Singh taking retirement.
“What a wonderful & fulfilling career, Bhajji! I first met you at India nets in ’95- over the years, we’ve been part of wonderful memories.
You have been a great team man, playing with all you heart. Both on the field and off it -it is always fun to have you as part of any team. I cannot forget all those moments of laughter.
You have done your best for India in your long career, we are all very proud of you. Wishing you happiness and success in the ‘doosra’ phase of your career,” wrote Tendulkar.
Indian coach Rahul Dravid too had a special message.
“Harbhajan had many ups and downs in his career but he has always come out fighting. Great competitor and a great man, someone you wanted to go to battle with. Obviously, one of those great performers for India.”
“To be a great sort of partner along with Anil Kumble, part of so many of our great wins during that period, it’s pleasure and privilege to play alongside him. Highlight of Bhajji’s career was 32 wickets and just to see the way he came back after being dropped from the team, the way he carried that attack in absence of Anil Kumble was phenomenal,” said Rahul Dravid.