Harbhajan Singh Retires: Full Statement
Harbhajan Singh released a statement on YouTube on his decision to retire from all forms of cricket.
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: December 24, 2021 03:48 PM IST
- Harbhajan Singh announced his retirement from all forms of cricket
- Harbhajan Singh picked up 417 wickets in 103 Tests
- Harbhajan also picked up 269 wickets in 236 ODIs
Harbhajan Singh announced his retirement from "all formats of cricket" on Friday to bring the curtains down on his 23-year-long career. The off-spinner first played for India in 1998 and has had a decorated career across all formats. He is a World Cup winner in both ODIs and T20Is and is among only four Indian bowlers to take more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. He was also the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Tests for India.
Here is Harbhajan Singh's full statement on his retirement which he released on YouTube:
"There comes a time in life, you have to take tough decisions and you have to move on. From the past year, I wanted to make an announcement, and I was waiting for the right time to share the moment with all of you. Today, I am taking retirement from all formats of cricket. Mentally, I retired earlier but couldn't announce it. In any case, I have not been playing active cricket for some time but due to my commitment with Kolkata Knight Riders, I wanted to stay with them for the IPL (2021) season. But during the season, I had already made up my mind to retire.
Like every cricketer, I wanted to bid adieu, wearing an Indian jersey but destiny had other plans. For whichever team I have played, I have played with 100 per cent commitment, so that my team finishes on top.
Whatever I have managed to achieve in my life, it is thanks to the blessings of my Guruji Sant Harcharan Singh. He gave direction to my life and all his teachings will continue to stay with me. My father Sardar Sardev Singh Plaha and my mother Avtar Kaur Plaha have struggled a lot to make sure my dreams come true. It's thanks to their hardwork that I could play international cricket.
I have one request from god that if I am reborn, I would want to be a son to the same mother and father.
God knows how much my sisters have prayed for me. And thanks to their prayers, I have got all the happiness in the world. Whatever I do for them will probably not be enough. I have missed so many Rakshabandhans with you. But I promise, now, I will not give you even a single chance of complaining. You are my rockstars, my sisters, and I love you. You are the pillars of my family.
To my wife Geeta -- I just want to tell you that your love completes me. Thank you for being with me on this journey. You have seen the best and the worst of me. Now, I have a lot of time to stay with you and I will not give you a chance to complain that I do not give you time.
Hinaya Heer and Jovan Veer -- you are both my lives and when you both grow up, I hope you will get to know what your father did in cricket. I am happy that I will have a lot of time to spend with you and that I can see you grow up.
Speaking about my cricket career. My first moment of joy was when I took a hat-trick in Kolkata, becoming the first Indian to do so in Test cricket. During that series, I took 32 wickets in three matches, and it is still a record.
The 2007 World Cup, and of course the 2011 World Cup triumph was the most important to me. These memorable moments I will never be able to forget. I can't describe it in words how much happiness I got from it.
During this journey, I had the companionship of many people that very few have. From these, some became friends and some became part of my family. From U-14 to India seniors and IPL -- I want to thank all my teammates and all the opposition players, and also thank all my coaches, groundsmen, umpires, media and every person that has encouraged me to do well in life. And from the bottom of my heart, I also want to thank all those fans who prayed for me when I was representing the Indian cricket team.
Also want to thank BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, all the members of the BCCI. Also thank the Punjab Cricket Association. MP Pandove sir, IS Bindra sir, both will always be very close to my heart.
Cricket was, is and will remain an integral part of my life. I have served Indian cricket for many years, and I will try and make sure that I continue to serve Indian cricket going forward.
I don't know what the future holds for me. But today I am what I am thanks to cricket. I will be happy to serve Indian cricket in any role. A new chapter of my life is beginning, and I believe me your 'Turbanator' is ready for that test as well.