Harbhajan Singh, the Turbanator of Team India, bids adieu to all forms of cricket

Harbhajan Singh announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. The veteran India off-spinner said that he was looking to make the announcement for the past few years, but was "waiting for the right moment to share the news" with his fans.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 03:51 PM IST
Minute Read
Harbhajan Singh, the Turbanator of Team India, bids adieu to all forms of cricket
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New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who is also known as 'Turbanator', on Friday afternoon announced his retirement from all forms of the cricket. In a Tweet, the 41-year-old, who last played for India in March 2016 during a T20I against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at Dhaka, thanked his supporters and fans as he ended his 23-year-old cricket journey.

"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 tweeted.

He also shared a video on YouTube, Harbhajan said that it has been a beautiful journey for him as he represented India during his two-decade-long career. Getting emotional, the veteran India legend said that he was looking to make the announcement for the past few years, but was "waiting for the right moment to share the news" with his fans.

"From the narrow lanes of Jalandhar to being Team India's 'Turbanator', it has been a beautiful journey of 25 years. Whenever I entered the field wearing the Team India jersey, I felt the most motivated in life. But, there comes a time when you have to take some tough decisions and move on in life," he said.

"However, I had already taken my retirement in my mind but couldn't announce it. I wasn't playing active cricket for the last few years but due to my commitment to the Kolkata Knight Riders, I wanted to stay with them during the IPL season. However, I had made up my mind to retire during the season," he added.

'Unfulfilled wish'

Speaking about his "unfulfilled wish", the 41-year-old said that he wanted to retire in the Indian jersey, but "destiny had other plans" for him. He, however, said that he always tried to play the game with his 100 per cent commitment.

"Talking about my cricket career, the first time when I felt the happiest was when I took the hat-trick in Kolkata, becoming the first India cricketer to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. I also took 32 wickets in 3 Tests in that series, a record that is still withstanding," Harbhajan said.

"After that, the 2007 World T20 win and later on, the 2011 World Cup victory was the most important to me. I won't be able to forget these moments forever. I might not be able to express in words the amount of happiness it gave me."

Born on July 3, 1980, in Punjab's Jalandhar, Harbhajan had made his Test debut against Australia on March 25, 1998. Later on April 17 that year, Bhajji played his first one-day international (ODI) against New Zealand. In 103 Tests, he took 417 wickets at an average of 32.46 and also has two hundred to his name. Meanwhile, he got 269 wickets in ODIs and 25 wickets in 28 T20Is.

Over the years, Harbhajan also played a crucial role for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, he switched sides to Chennai Super Kings in 2018. He played his last IPL season in 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders. Overall, Harbhajan has played 163 IPL games, scalping 150 wickets at an average of 26.87 and 22.77 strike rate.

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