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Harbhajan Singh retires from all forms of cricket, ends a 23-year-long career

Harbhajan Singh

New Delhi, December 24: Harbhajan Singh, the India off-spinner, on Friday (December 24) retired from all forms of cricket after a journey that lasted for 23 years.

It was on expected lines after his India days were over a couple of years ago. Harbhajan, who made his debut against Australia in Bengaluru in 1998, has last played for India in a T20I match against the UAE in Dhaka in 2016 during the Asia Cup.

"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.

"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 IPL 2021 season with them. But during the IPL 2021 season itself, I had made up my mind to retire,” he said.

Harbhajan’s last Test was against Sri Lanka in 2015 at Galle and the last ODI too was in the same year against South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

From 103 Tests, Harbhajan has taken 417 wickets, and from 236 ODIs, the Turbanator grabbed 269 wickets. Harbhajan has also played in 28 T20Is and took 25 wickets. Recently, R Ashwin has overtaken Harbhajan as India’s third leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

His most memorable series was against Australia in the 2001-02 season when he tormented the visiting batsmen, especially Ricky Ponting, and took a hat-trick in the famous Kolkata Test.

However, the Punjab cricketer continued to ply his trade in the IPL for various teams like Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. His last IPL match came earlier this year against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium for the KKR.

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Story first published: Friday, December 24, 2021, 14:42 [IST]
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