India off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh on Friday, December 24 announced his retirement from all formats of cricket. Harbhajan last represented India in 2016 in a T20I match against U.A.E, and continued playing in the IPL till earlier this year, when he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad.
Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday, December 24 announced his retirement from all forms of the game. Harbhajan was part of the India squad, which won the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup and the 2011 ICC World Cup under MS Dhoni's captaincy. The off-spinner bows out as India's fourth-highest wicket-taker (417) in Test cricket behind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and R Ashwin.
Harbhajan made his Test debut against Australia in Bangalore in 1998, and in the same year, the off-spinner earned his maiden ODI cap when India played against New Zealand in April in Sharjah. The 41-year-old scalped 417 wickets from 103 Tests, 236 wickets from 236 ODIs, and 25 wickets in 28 T20Is during his esteemed career. Harbhajan rose to fame in international cricket when he scalped 32 wickets in three Tests against Australia in 2001, which includes a hat-trick in the famous Eden Gardens Test in Kolkata. The off-spinner dismissed Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne off successive deliveries to claim the first hat-trick by an Indian.
The veteran off-spinner last represented Team India in 2016 in a T20I match against U.A.E at Dhaka. He then continued to be a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) till earlier this year, when he was part of the KKR squad. Harbhajan has also represented Mumbai Indians (2008-2017), Chennai Super Kings (2018-2019) in IPL, and was part of the title wins on three occasions.
Harbhajan announced his decision to retire through Twitter, where he thanked everyone who supported him throughout the 23-year-long 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.— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 24, 2021
My heartfelt thank you 🙏 Grateful .https://t.co/iD6WHU46MU
The veteran off-spinner also shared a video on his YouTube channel, and explained the reasons behind his retirement from the game of cricket.
"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 while wearing the India jersey. However, there comes a time in life where we have to take a tough decision and 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 said on his official YouTube channel.
"In many ways, I had already retired as a cricketer, but hadn't been able to make a formal announcement. I haven't been an active cricketer for a while. But I had a commitment to Kolkata Knight Riders, and wanted to spend the (2021) IPL season with them. But during the season itself, I had made up my mind to retire," Harbhajan added.