“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.”
With this heartfel tweet, former India spinning great Harbhajan Singh has announced his retirement “from all formats of the game”.
In a video message, the former India off-spinner said that ‘in many ways, I had already retired’, but because of IPL commitments, he was forced to delay the eventual announcement.
“There comes a time in your life when you must take some tough decisions and move ahead. I have been meaning to make this announcement for the last few years, but I was waiting for the right moment to share it with all of you: today, I am retiring from all formats of cricket,” he said.
Harbhajan, 41, made his international debut back in March 1998, in a Test match against Australia in Bengaluru, picking up two wickets. While India lost that game, the ‘Turbanator’ went on to play 103 Tests, for a haul of 417 wickets – still the fourth-highest for India – at an average of 32.46, with an innings best of 8 for 84 and a match best of 15 for 217, both recorded in India’s two-wicket win over an ‘undefeatable’ Australia side in the Chennai Test of 2001, the legendary 2-1 series win, which had amongst its highlights, the partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid.
In that Test, Harbhajan played a special role in the win, bagging 13 wickets and also had a hat-trick.
His overall haul makes Harbhajan Singh the second-most successful bowler in international cricket for India, with his tally of 707 wickets only behind Anil Kumble’s 953, and until recently before R Ashwin eclipsed him, was India’s 3rd highest Test wicket-taker, behind Kumble and Kapil Dev.
‘It has been a beautiful journey over 25 years, right from the gullies of Jalandhar to becoming the Turbanator of India,’ he said in the video message.
“Nothing has been more motivating for me than stepping out on the field while wearing the India jersey.”Like every [Indian] cricketer, even I wished to bid goodbye in an India jersey, but fate had something else in store for me. Irrespective of the side I represented, I have always given my 100% commitment to ensure my team finishes on top – whether it was India, Punjab, Mumbai Indians, CSK [Chennai Super Kings], KKR or the county teams of Surrey and Essex.
Singh said that he has ‘no idea’ what he his future endeavours would be, but indicated that it would be connected to the game.
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