Harbhajan Singh talks about future plans, unsure about shifting to politics

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The news of Harbhajan Singh's retirement from cricket came last month. Rumours were quick to spread that he was interested in joining politics. The Legendary former Indian off-spinner, however, has clarified whether the gossip was true.

What Harbhajan will do

Speaking to ANI, Harbhajan, who ended his 23-year-long career last month, said he recognised the need to consider his post-retirement career while reminding his fans that he became what he is today because of cricket. He claimed that he was unsure whether he would try his fortune in politics. Additionally, he expressed his desire to be with cricket to try his luck at commentary or mentoring an Indian Premier League (IPL) side.

“Maybe once the right time will come, then I will decide on that and see whether it is the right way for me to approach going forward," Harbhajan said. "So, I am not sure about the other side of things in politics. So, I will have to take a call on that whether I want to get into that or not, but yes, I would love to be connected with the game. As far as I am concerned, I will be seen somewhere mentoring the team or doing commentary or doing something to do with cricket."

Bhajji last represented India was back in 2016. He admitted that he had mentally retired from the sport given that he had been away from international cricket for five years. Despite saying that he was happy with his achievements, he claimed that the official announcement of his retirement came in later than expected.

“Before taking this decision, this was obviously there in my mind for a long period of time," Harbhajan continued. "I took this decision. I spoke to my wife, mother, and obviously to my very close friends from my childhood. After speaking to them, they said whatever you feel is the right choice for you, just do it. I felt the time was gone. I should have retired in 2016/17. I could not retire.”

Harbhajan regrets missing chance of playing another WC with Viru, Yuvi

While recalling his exclusion from the 2015 World Cup team, Harbhajan said he regretted missing one last chance to play another world cup alongside the 2011 World Cup Player of the series Yuvraj Singh, leading wicket-taker of that tournament Zaheer Khan, and openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

“It would have been nice to play another world cup together with all my colleagues like Yuvraj and Virender Sehwag," the 41-year-old explained. "When I took 400 Test wickets, I was only 31 and in 2011 also, I was 31. At 31, I was doing really well and I was fitter than many who actually was playing the game. After that, things did not go our way. I don't know what happened and who was behind it but whatever happened it's gone.

"There is no point talking about it. But yes would have been nice to play another world cup with Viru, Yuvi and maybe Gautam Gambhir as well. We guys were fit enough to be the part of the 2015 World Cup team which did not happen. That is something which was not in our hands and all I have to say is whatever opportunities we have got, whatever we have done for Indian cricket.

Harbhajan said that he was still looking for an answer from the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India for his removal from the 2015 squad.

"I always want to be grateful for that and love all the opportunities we have got by the BCCI," the former bowler continued. "I am going to be grateful for that and people have said a lot about that 2012, 2013, 2014 period why those guys did not play who won the world cup for India which I do not have the answer. You guys don't have the answer.

"I don't know who can give the answer but you must ask the BCCI. At that time, the BCCI that why these guys did not play together after winning the 2011 World Cup. We were not in our late 30s, we were in our starting 30s. I was 31, Viru was like 31-32, Yuvi was 29-30 and we never got to play another cricket world cup which is quite strange actually."

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.