Harbhajan Singh retirement: The veteran Indian spinner is expected to announce his official retirement next week.
Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh has reportedly decided to call time on his playing career and join an Indian Premier League franchise in a coaching role ahead of IPL 2022.
Harbhajan, 41, had last played international cricket during Asia Cup 2016. While his last first-class and List A appearances had come four years ago, the off-break bowler continued to ply his trade in the shortest format majorly in the IPL.
While there is no confirmation on which IPL team will Harbhajan join after announcing his retirement, reports suggest that a franchise is keen to bank on his “vast experience” of playing at the highest level for 18 years.
“The role could be that of a consultant, mentor or part of the advisory group but the franchise with which he is talking are keen to use his vast experience. He will take active part in also helping the franchise decide on their auction picks,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Look, Harbhajan wanted to make a formal announcement of his retirement after the season is over. He has had extended talks with one of the franchises which has shown keen interest but he would like to talk about it only when the deal is formally inked.”
Harbhajan Singh retirement
Harbhajan, whose last competitive match was a Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2021 league match in Chennai, will be the last Indian cricketer to retire after making his international debut in the previous century.
If Harbhajan retires next week, he will be the 11th player from India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad to retire leaving behind only four active cricketers namely Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla and S. Sreesanth.
Having picked 707 wickets in 365 matches across formats with the help of 28 five-wicket hauls, Harbhajan will retire as the second-highest wicket-taker for India and 13th highest across the world.
Harbhajan, who has represented Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Knight Riders in the cash-rich IPL, is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the biggest T20 competition in the world picking 150 wickets at an average of 26.86, an economy rate of 7.07 and a strike rate of 22.77.