'711 international wickets, take a bow': Tributes pour in for 'Turbanator' Harbhajan Singh after he announces retirement

Published on Dec 24, 2021 03:08 PM IST

Harbhajan's India debut was against New Zealand at Sharjah in 1998 and he played his last game for the country in March, 2016 during a T20I against the UAE at Dhaka.

Harbhajan Singh. (Getty Images)
Harbhajan Singh. (Getty Images)
By, New Delhi

Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday pulled down curtains on his illustrious career as he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The off-spinner's India debut was against New Zealand at Sharjah in 1998 and he played his last game for the country in March, 2016 during a T20I against the UAE at Dhaka.

"All good things come to an end and today as I bid adieu to the game that has given me everything in life, I would like to thank everyone who made this 23-year-long journey beautiful and memorable," he tweeted.

"In my mind, I retired earlier but I am making the announcement today. My journey from the streets of Jalandhar to become the Turnabator for Team India has been a beautiful one. There is no bigger motivation for me in life than stepping out on the field, wearing the India jersey.

"There comes a time in life where we have to take a tough decision, you have to move forward in life. I was waiting for the last few years to make this announcement public -- I am retiring from all forms of cricket," an emotional Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel wearing an India blazer.

Twitter, in no time, was flooded with tributes for the “Turbanator” who gave fans many moments to cherish. Harbhajan's teammates and fans wished him luck for the new chapter of life and congratulated him for an incredible career.

On the biggest stage, Harbhajan represented India in 103 Tests, 236 ODIs, and 28 T20Is and was also a part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad. He walks off with 417 Test wickets, 269 ODI scalps, and 25 plucks in T20 Internationals. One of the highlights of the Punjab cricketer's international career was his performance against Australia, where he took 32 wickets in three Tests including a maiden Test hat-trick for India.

Also a part of high-profile franchises like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders, Harbhajan played 163 IPL matches, taking 150 wickets at an average of 26.

In the next phase of his career, Harbhajan could be seen joining the support staff of at least a couple of IPL franchises.

Harbhajan was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders during the last edition of the IPL but didn't get a game in the UAE leg of the league. He signs off as India's fourth-highest Test wicket-taker with 417 scalps, only behind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Ravichandran Ashwin on the list.

Here's how fans reacted to Harbhajan's retirement:

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