Harbhajan Singh

India’s ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday was announced as one of the eight ambassadors for the upcoming International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy which is scheduled in England between June 1 to 18.

The 36-year-old off-spinner Harbhajan, who was the part of Indian Team in Colombo when they shared the Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002, stated he is excited to be the part of ICC event and he is proud the way India played in 2013, to become the Champions of the title.

“To be appointed as an Ambassador for a global event in which India will be the defending champion is one of the highs for me as a cricketer and something to be really proud of,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by the ICC.

The other brand ambassadors of the seven nations include several veterans in the form of Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Ian Bell (England), Mike Hussey (Australia), Graeme Smith (South Africa), Shane Bond (New Zealand) and Habibul Bashar from Bangladesh.

The announcement has been made when one of the major ICC events is 50 days away as the tournament opener will be played between hosts and Bangladesh Kennington Oval in London, for the Group A match.

“The programme will connect these greats of the game with a new generation of fans and players through our Cricket For Good project and leave a real lasting legacy for the sport,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson stated in ICC release.

The announcement comes exactly 50 days before the first ball is bowled in the tournament-opener between England and Bangladesh at The Oval.

“I am confident that team India will achieve greater heights and am sure that millions of fans back home will be following the side’s fortunes,” Harbhajan, who picked 417 Test wickets and 269 One-day International wickets, added.

The ICC release stated the ambassadors will also turn to be the part of editorial team for world cricket governing body after they’ve a Nissan Trophy tour including their appearance in the United Kingdom.

The programme also includes the opportunity for children to meet their stars as the coaching clinics will also be witnessed during the campaign.

“Three more Ambassadors and we would have made a tournament-winning side,” former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, who was happy to be the part of campaign stated.

The editorial stints for ambassadors include match analysis; previews and reviews followed by columns which will appear on ICC’s official website.

All eight ambassadors share 51,906 runs which included 48 hundreds and 838 wickets in One-day Internationals in 1,774 50-over games.

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    Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor

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