Harbhajan Singh has announced that he will retire “from all formats of the game.” In a video statement on Twitter, the former India offspinner stated that “in many ways, I had already resigned,” but he was obliged to postpone the announcement due to his responsibilities with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
“There comes a period in your life when you have to make some difficult decisions and go forward.” “I’ve been intending to make this announcement for a few years, but I’ve been waiting for the proper time to share it with all of you: today, I am retiring from all formats of cricket,” he stated. “I had already retired as a cricketer in many ways, but I hadn’t been allowed to make a formal declaration.”
“I haven’t played cricket in a long time.” But I had a contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders and planned to spend the entire 2021 IPL season with them. But I had already decided to quit throughout the season.”
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.— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 24, 2021
My heartfelt thank you 🙏 Grateful .https://t.co/iD6WHU46MU
Harbhajan, now 41, made his international debut in a Test match against Australia in Bengaluru in March 1998, picking up two wickets in an eight-wicket defeat. He went on to play 103 Tests, taking 417 wickets at an average of 32.46, with an innings best of 8 for 84 and a match best of 15 for 217, both in India’s two-wicket win over Australia in the Chennai Test of 2001, giving them a 2-1 series win. While the partnership of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid garnered the most headlines in the last Test in Kolkata, Harbhajan Singh played a key role in the victory, taking 13 wickets.
Harbhajan also played 236 ODIs, taking 269 wickets at 33.35, four of which were for Asia XI in the Afro-Asia Cup in 2007. He also played 28 T20Is, taking 25 wickets at 25.32. His total haul places him as India’s second-most successful bowler in international cricket, trailing only Anil Kumble’s 953.
“It has been a lovely journey over the last 25 years, straight from the gullies of Jalandhar to becoming India’s Turbanator,” he said in a statement. “Nothing has been more inspiring for me than taking the field in the India shirt.”
“Like every [Indian] cricketer, I wished to go in an India shirt, but fate had other plans for me.” Regardless of the team I represented, I have always given my all to ensure that my team came out on top, whether it was India, Punjab, Mumbai Indians, CSK [Chennai Super Kings], KKR, or the county teams of Surrey and Essex.”
Despite his achievements across formats, including being a member of the 50-over World Cup-winning squad in 2011 and the T20 World Cup-winning side in 2007, Harbhajan’s performance in that series against Australia in 2001 must rate as, probably, his finest achievement. Particularly memorable was his hat-trick in the Kolkata Test.
“My first true happiness in cricket was the hat-trick I took in Kolkata, being the first Indian bowler to do so in a Test match.” “I also took 32 wickets in three Tests during that series, which is still a record,” he remarked. “The T20 World Cup win in 2007 and the [ODI] World Cup win in 2011 were the most crucial for me after that.” Those were moments that I will never forget or describe in words how significant that delight was for me.”
In terms of the future, Harbhajan stated that he has “no clue” what he will do, but that it would be related to the game.
“Cricket was, is, and always will be a big part of my life.” “I have served Indian cricket for many years and will continue to do so in the future,” he said. “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but whatever I am now is thanks to cricket.” If I can aid Indian cricket in any way in the future, I will be overjoyed.
“Now I begin a new chapter in my life, which will be filled with new challenges.” Believe me, your Turbanator is prepared for the test! Just keep showering me with your affection.”