Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

MS Dhoni Was A BCCI 'Favourite', Harbhajan Singh Blames 'Many Villains' For His India Exit

Harbhajan Singh announced his retirement on December 24 ending an 18-year long career. He finished with 711 wickets across formats from 367 international games for India.

Harbhajan Singh last played for India in a T20 International against UAE in 2016. BCCI

“Can’t say who would be the villain in my biopic. There is not one but many,” said Harbhajan Singh as the former India off-spinner took a dig at ‘some BCCI officials’ and then captain MS Dhoni for his ouster from the national team. (More Cricket News)

The 41-year-old, who last played for India in a T20 international in 2016, announced his retirement from competitive cricket on December 24, bringing down curtains to an 18-year long career boasting a staggering 711 wickets, including 28 fifers and five 10-wicket hauls across formats.

No doubt, Harbhajan Singh, fondly called Bhajji, will always be cherished as one of the most-successful off-spinners in the world, but the treatment shown towards the boisterous Punjab by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) towards the end of his career hurt him the most.

“Luck has always favoured me. Just some external factors were not by my side and maybe they were completely against me. This is because of the way I was bowling or the rate at which I was moving ahead,” Harbhajan has been quoted as saying.

“I was 31 when I took 400 wickets and if I would have played another 4-5 years, keeping in mind the kind of standards I had set for myself, I can tell you that I would have taken another 100-150 wickets or more,” added Harbhajan, who was a part of India’s both 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 50-over World Cup-winning teams.

No captain is above the BCCI and according to Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni supported what the Board officials decided.

“Yes, MS Dhoni was the captain then but I think this thing was above Dhoni’s head. To a certain extent, there were some BCCI officials who were involved in this and they didn’t want me and the captain may have supported that, but a captain can never be above the BCCI.

“The BCCI officials have always been bigger than the captain, coach or the team,” Harbhajan Singh said, who will be fondly remembered for his memorable hat-trick against Australia in the 2001 Eden Gardens Test. He also pointed out that Dhoni enjoyed an unmatched BCCI support than any other player on the side.

“Dhoni had better backing than other players; and if the rest of the players would have got the same kind of backing, then they would have played as well. It wasn’t as if the rest of the players forgot to swing a bat or didn't know how to bowl all of a sudden,” he added.

Speaking about his biopic, Harbhajan said, “I would like a film or a web series made on my life so that people can also know my side of the story, what kind of a guy I am, and what I do,” said Harbhajan.

Harbhajan also enjoyed success in the Indian Premier League having played for Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. He was with Kolkata Knight Riders in the last season but played only thrice.


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