On Friday, the veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took to social media and made an announcement that he has now retired from all forms of competitive cricket. Harbhajan is fondly remembered for his sensational bowling performances in the historic 2001 Border-Gavaskar series against Australia where he had taken as many as 32 wickets in 3 matches to revive his cricketing career.
Harbhajan Singh is among the few players who have been part of India’s historic World Cup triumphs in 2007 (T20) and 2011. He had scalped 7 wickets, bowling in tough phases in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup while leading the spin-bowling attack in 2011 as India outclassed arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final before registering a memorable in over Sri Lanka in the final.
Notably, his last international appearance came back in 2016 in a T20 international. In his Test career of 103 Tests, Harbhajan Singh has scalped as many as 417 wickets, which is currently the fourth most number of wickets by an Indian bowler in Test Cricket.
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 .https://t.co/iD6WHU46MU
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 24, 2021
The 41-year-old Harbhajan Singh, who featured in a few matches during the first phase of the last IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), didn’t play a single match in the UAE leg of the league tournament. Harbhajan has always shown a keen interest in grooming players and that was also his role in his later years with Mumbai Indians (MI), where he spent a fruitful decade.
In fact, in KKR last year, Harbhajan Singh spent a lot of time mentoring Varun Chakravarthy, who has been an integral part of the franchise for the last couple of seasons. Harbhajan has played 163 matches in the IPL across 13 seasons (he didn’t take part in 2020) for Mumbai Indians (MI), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and KKR and has taken 150 wickets at an average of 26 and his best figures being 5/18.
Here is how the cricketing fraternity reacted to Harbhajan’s retirement:
@harbhajan_singh Ur gonna be the one of the best ever played cricket not just for india but in world of cricket..it’s a huge honour to know u and to have played with you b bhajjipa ….will always cherish the lovely hugs( lucky for me ) before my spells ) lots of love and respect pic.twitter.com/5IgYJk4HcD
— Sreesanth (@sreesanth36) December 24, 2021
Bhajji! 🏏♥️ 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/JSgNHm6z9R
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 24, 2021
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) December 24, 2021
Happy Retirement brother @harbhajan_singh You have been an absolute legend. Always loved your aggression on the field. It was pleasure playing for India alongside you. My favourite memory of us is winning the world t20 and VB series for India ! pic.twitter.com/yZ0pE3WEeL
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) December 24, 2021
Many congratulations bajju pa @harbhajan_singh on a fantastic career. Your contribution to cricket has been immense and it was such a pleasure to play alongside you. I wish you all the best for all your future endeavours. God bless. pic.twitter.com/tHWxUFIUzu
— Amit Mishra (@MishiAmit) December 24, 2021
— Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) December 24, 2021
— Rahul Sharma (@ImRahulSharma3) December 24, 2021
Congratulations Bhajji on a great career. It was wonderful to bowl alongside you. Created a lot of good memories on the field. Have a fantastic second innings partner. Best wishes to you and family 👍🏽
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) December 24, 2021
Congratulations on a glittering career and happy retirement, @harbhajan_singh! 🤩
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) December 24, 2021
An incredible career comes to an end! Cricket will remember you not only as a legendary spinner but as an unforgettable competitor! I am privileged to play alongside you @harbhajan_singh paji ❤️💯#harbhajansingh #Bhajji #CricketTwitter #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/tOlN49Qzs9
— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) December 24, 2021
Congrats on a wonderful career @harbhajan_singh.. All the best in your future endeavours.
— WV Raman (@wvraman) December 24, 2021
India’s one of the legendary spinner of all time and a great match winner. Congratulations Bhajju paa on your wonderful career. Thank you for all the memories and best wishes for your second innings🤗🤗@harbhajan_singh #HarbhajanSinghRetires
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) December 24, 2021
Thank you for all the fondest memories, Bhajju Pa ❤️
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) December 24, 2021