Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh’s glorious career came to an end on Friday after the off-spinner announced his retirement from all the forms of the game. Harbhajan, the ‘Turnbanator’ ended a 23-year career at the highest level. Over the course of his career, Harbhajan featured in 103 Test matches, 236 ODIs, and 28 T20Is, in which he took 417, 227, and 25 wickets, respectively.
He was hailed as one of the best bowlers of the Indian cricket team during his heydays. He played a crucial role in helping India win both the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
While he has a brilliant cricketing record on-field, Harbhajan often grabbed headlines for his flamboyant attitude and for being an entertaining personality, who was never afraid to express his emotions. During his career, there have been several instances when the veteran was involved in heated exchanges with other cricketers on-field.
A few years ago, Bhajji had narrated one such incident where he sledged Australian cricketer Darren Lehmann and Glenn Mcgrath. The hilarious banter had left the fans chuckles, Harbhajan narrated how he asked Lehmann whether he was pregnant.
Talking on ‘Aap ki Aadalat’, Harbhajan said, “Australians felt they were the biggest superstars, nobody can beat them, they always looked to dominate. But we were from a generation which was never docile. I come from Punjab and Punjabis by nature always speak their minds.”
He added: “I was batting and (Darren) Lehmann was continuously sledging me. He had a huge stomach and his slack string used to hang out like Shakti Kapoor’s. I was so perturbed over his sledging that I pointed towards his abdomen and asked: ‘Are you pregnant?’ Lehmann told this to Shane Warne who burst out laughing. Warne asked me whether I said this…’ Well, players shouldn’t have such huge stomachs.
“(Glenn) McGrath sledged me a lot. He felt who’s this guy playing after I have dismissed top batsmen. I replied back. He used to sledge once, I replied thrice, he sledged twice, I replied five times. A time came when the Australians stopped sledging me.”
Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh’s last appearance for the Indian cricket team came in a T20I game in 2016 against UAE. He was last seen in action during the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League for the Kolkata Knight Riders. If reports are to be believed then Bhajji will take up a coaching role with an IPL team next season.