Harbhajan Singh, the veteran India off-spinner, is gearing up for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he’ll be turning up for two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Harbhajan is excited to play for a new franchise in the IPL, having previously featured for Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The turbanator was bought by KKR at the IPL 2021 auction in February in Chennai for his base prize of INR 2 crores. The 40-year-old hasn’t played any form of competitive cricket since IPL 2019 but is optimistic of putting in a good show when he wears the KKR jersey over the next two months.
“I am excited to be part of this journey with KKR,” Harbhajan told India Today. “They have been champions twice. I will try and do my best and do whatever I can do to make sure they come at the top.”
“It’s a team game we all have to play, we have a big, big competition. We are looking forward to it. From my side, I will go more than 100 percent and do my best to get the right results for KKR,” he added.
Harbhajan Singh excited to play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2021
Harbhajan, who last played for India back in 2016, was released by CSK following the end of IPL 2020 which he opted out of due to personal reasons. At the IPL 2021 auction, he went unsold initially but was eventually picked by KKR.
Harbhajan talked about his desire to continue playing and how he drives great joy being on the field. He also said he gets “goosebumps” thinking of representing Kolkata in the IPL as he renews his association with the city known for its great passion for cricket.
It was in Kolkata’s Eden Gardens only that Harbhajan became an overnight star when he took a hat-trick and helped India achieve a remarkable comeback victory in the 2001 Test against a world-dominating Australian side.
“I have achieved a few things that I had set out to achieve,” said Harbhajan. “There are a few things that I want to achieve for my personal satisfaction. I always enjoy playing cricket. Why do we play sport? It gives us satisfaction and joy. I don’t want to miss out on that till the time I am playing. And this is the reason I am still to be on the part and rub my shoulders with 20-year-old guys and see how good I am and what I can do.”
“Till the time I have that urge and feeling, I will continue to play. When that doesn’t come, I will say ‘I need to move on and do something else’.”
“When we talk about Kolkata, I get goosebumps. Everything about the city takes me back, reminds me of Eden 2001. In Test cricket, I have always taken a 5-wicket haul. Even if I am not in form, if I go to Kolkata, I regain form. That’s the blessings of Kaali Ma and the love from the people.”
“There is some power that keeps me motivated in Kolkata. Thank you for all the support from the Bengali people. I have always said Kolkata is like another home for me,” he added.
Harbhajan is one of the greats of IPL cricket, with 150 wickets to his name at an economy rate of 7.05 over 160 matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will begin their IPL 2021 campaign on April 11 in Chennai against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
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