New Delhi: India's ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, on Friday, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
A fierce competitor, Harbhajan ended his glittering career as the fourth-highest wicket-taker from India in Tests with 417 wickets and fifth among Indian bowlers in ODIs with 269 scalps.
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
Having debuted in 1998 against Australia in Bengaluru first as a 17-year-old. Harbhajan represented the country for close to two decades. He features in the elite 100-Test club and is only the second Indian spinner after Anil Kumble to have played over 100 Tests for India. He holds the honour of being the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick when he dismissed Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in successive balls in the famous 2001 Kolkata Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. His astonishing match tally of 13/196 helped the team to a stunning victory as India became only the third team to win a Test after being forced to follow on.
‘The Turbanator’ also has an equally impressive record in the limited-overs format. He played a key role in helping India win the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was later instrumental in India becoming the first team to win a World Cup at home in 2011.
Sourav Ganguly, President, BCCI said: “I congratulate Harbhajan Singh on a remarkable career. He has faced several challenges in his life, but Bhajji is not the one to give up. He has overcome many hurdles and put many setbacks behind him to rise every time. What inspired me the most about him was his hunger to perform. His strength was his guts and courage. He was always very passionate, and his immense self-belief meant he never shied away from a fight. He also kept the dressing room atmosphere light and that is something really important.
“His first full Test series against Australia in 2001 is the greatest that I have seen where one bowler single-handedly won the series. He was a captain’s delight. As a bowler, he hated putting fielders in the deep. Bhajji has been an absolute match winner. He should be proud of what he has achieved. I want to tell him that the new innings in his life will be as exciting.”
Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI said: “Harbhajan Singh has had a phenomenal career with Team India. He has been a part of many memorable victories both at home and away. He played his cricket with grit and passion and wore his heart on his sleeve. His fighting spirit and his zeal to perform for India when the team was under pressure is something that always stood out. His presence on the field lifted everyone’s morale. While he played a major role with the ball, picking up wickets aplenty, it must be remembered that he has also played some crucial knocks with the bat, helping us get over the line. I wish him the best for all his future endeavours and wish to see him being closely associated with the game.”
Here is how the cricket fraternity reacted on Harbhajan's retirement:
Bhajji! 🏏♥️ 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/JSgNHm6z9R— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 24, 2021
Congratulations on a very fulfilling career, Bhajji. Given the challenges and personal circumstances, you have done the country extremely proud with your achievements on the field. Have a great life ahead. https://t.co/TE1Vgx2nrM— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 24, 2021