The right-arm-off break bowler and once a driving power of Indian cricket team, Harbhajan Singh turns 34 on July 3. Hailing from Jalandhar, Punjab, Bhajji started off his cricket career with ODI debut in 1998. It’s been a long journey since then and most of it has been penned down in the golden pages of history.
As we congratulate Bhajji on completing on adding one more year to his long journey of life, we will take a small walk down the memory lane and take a sneak peek at the highs and lows of his life.
· The year 2000-02 was the golden period for Harbhajan Singh as he was awarded with the Man of the Match awards on number of occasions.
ODI against South Africa on the grounds of Pretoria.
ODI against Australia in Chepauk, Chennai.
ODI against Zimbabwe in Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi.
· In the years to follow, Harbhajan proved himself fit for the Test cricket too and was awarded the Man of the Series for the following Test series- Australia in India Test series (2000-01)
West Indies in India Test series (2002-03)
South Africa in India Test Series (2007-08)
· Harbhajan has been particularly successful against Australian batsman Ricky Ponting, taking his wicket on 10 occasions in Test cricket.
· People know him as a bowler, but he has even proved his mettle with the bat, scoring 115 against New Zealand, in Ahmadabad, in 2010; and 112 (not out) against New Zealand, Hyderabad, in 2010.
While Bhajji has won many matches for India, there have been incidences which have been either been a blot on his journey or else kept him amongst the gossip mongers for quite a long time.
Notable ones were,
· The rumored relationship with the actress Geeta Basra, and probable news of getting tied in the holy knot.
· In 1998 Harbhajan was engaged in a war-of-words with Australian captain Ricky Ponting in his maiden international ODI series after which he was slapped with a fine and a reprimand.
· January, 2008 saw Harbhajan Singh being charged with a Level 3 charge of racially abusing Andrew Symonds, calling him “monkey”. He was banned for one Test and charged 50 per cent of his match fees.
· The same year, in April Harbhajan was banned for 10-11 matches and was charged his match fee for slapping Sreesanth on the field during one of the IPL Season1 matches.
The ups and downs of Bhajji’s life have made him a persistent part of the huge Indian family. Wishing him all the best for the future and a prosperous year ahead, we hope to see him perform at his best on the pitch and add on many more laurels to his name in the forthcoming years.
Twitter Wishes Bhajji:
India's most successful off-spinner, also the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Tests, turns 34 today. Happy Birthday, @harbhajan_singh
— BCCI (@ItsIndiaCricket) July 3, 2014