Harbhajan Singh, one of India's most successful bowlers, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday.
The 41-year-old on Friday took to Twitter and wrote: "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."
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.— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 24, 2021
My heartfelt thank you ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Grateful .https://t.co/iD6WHU46MU
Harbhajan last played for India in March 2016 in a T20I against the UAE at Dhaka. The off-spinner made his India debut in an ODI against New Zealand at Sharjah on April 17, 1998. He made his Test debut against Australia at Bengaluru on March 25, 1998.
In an illustrious career, Harbhajan claimed 417 wickets in 103 Tests, 269 in 236 ODIs and 25 in 28 T20Is. Harbhajan also played 163 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, taking 150 wickets. He won the title with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
In a video message, Harbhajan said that "in many ways" he had "already retired", but the delay in the announcement was because of his commitments with Kolkata Knight Riders, his third team in the IPL.
"I have been meaning to make this announcement for the last few years, but I was waiting for the right moment to share it... Today, I am retiring from all formats of cricket," he said. "In many ways, I had already retired as a cricketer, but hadn't been able to make a formal announcement."
The Punjab cricketer made his First class debut in the 1997-98 domestic season was last seen in action in an IPL 2021 match for KKR against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on April 18, 2021.
"I haven't been an active cricketer for a while. But I had a commitment to Kolkata Knight Riders and wanted to spend the (2021) IPL season with them. But during the season itself, I had made up my mind to retire," he added.
Harbhajan famously set up India's win 2-1 series win against Australia in 2001, which featured that sensational Kolkata Test. Following on, India won the match by 171 runs at the iconic Eden Gardens with Harbhajan claiming 13 wickets, including a hat-trick. In the next match, he made it 15 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai as India won by two wickets.
“I would love to take some soil from Eden and keep it in my backyard in Punjab. Kali Maa’s blessings and Kolkata’s love has been very special to my journey in cricket.” âÂÂ¨@harbhajan_singh's relationship with the City of Joy is beyond words ðÂÂÂÂÂÂ#ThankYouBhajji #KKR #AmiKKR pic.twitter.com/4kWSrjAcOE— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) December 24, 2021
"In my cricket career, I was happy for the first time when I had taken a hat-trick in Kolkata and I became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. I had also taken 32 wickets in three matches, which is still a record," he said.
Harbhajan was a member of the Indian teams that won the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2011 ODI World Cup. He was also a member of the Sourav Ganguly-led team that reached the final of the 2003 ODI World Cup.
"Then the 2007 and 2011 World Cup wins were most important for me. Such memorable moments I can't forget in my life and I can't even explain in words what it meant to me," he added.
He is India's fourth-highest wicket-taker in Test, behind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Ravichandran Ashwin. Overall, he is India's second-highest wicket in international cricket with a combined tally of the tally of 711, only behind Anil Kumble's 956.