Out-of-favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has withdrawn his name from The Hundred’s draft that will be taking place on October 20. Confirming the update to PTI, Harbhajan said that he is looking forward to playing his third season for Chennai Super Kings in IPL.
As per BCCI’s rules, Harbhajan would have had to announce his retirement from international cricket and IPL before asking for an NOC from the board to take part in the foreign T20 league.
“For me, Indian Premier League and Chennai Super Kings remain priorities. I have had two good seasons with CSK where we played two finals. So right now, a good third season is what I am looking at,” Harbhajan told PTI.
“I respect rules laid down by my parent body. I will never flout any BCCI rule. If that means withdrawing my name from the draft, so be it. I will withdraw my name,” the veteran cricketer added.
Harbhajan, who played his last international match at Asia Cup in 2016, is yet to retire from international cricket. He does not play for Punjab regularly but is still one of the best performing cricketers in IPL. In IPL 2019, he scalped 16 wickets in 11 matches, bowling with an economy rate of 7.09.
Harbhajan is not in contention to make an India comeback but given that India are yet to ink on the spinners for the next two T20 World Cups, Harbhajan might be thinking to make an India comeback on the basis of performances in IPL.
The 39-year-old has played 103 Tests and 236 ODIs in which he has scalped wickets 417 and 269 wickets, respectively. In 28 T20Is, he has 25 wickets. His last ODI came against South Arica in 2015. The same year, he played his previous Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Harbhajan, in all likeliness, is expected to announce his retirement after next IPL. In fact, Chennai Super Kings are also expected to take a call on seniors once their contract ends next year. The franchise had signed players for a period of three years. It has already been confirmed that MS Dhoni will continue to lead three-time champions.
Harbhajan, if he wishes to play T20 leagues outside India, is only expected to play after next IPL.
Recently, Yuvraj Singh went on to play Global T20 Canada after he announced his retirement from international cricket and IPL. Along with him, Manpreet Singh Gony also went on to play the T20 league.
BCCI is yet make its stand clear on whether it will continue to allow retired players to take part in T20 leagues around the world or not.