IPL 2021: Harbhajan Singh confirms exit from Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), on Wednesday, released off-spinner Harbhajan Singh from the roster. The veteran spinner confirmed his exit through a tweet ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. He thanked the fans and CSK team management for "beautiful memories" as his contract with the three-time champions came to an end. Notably, Harbhajan chose to skip the 13th IPL edition along with Suresh Raina.
Harbhajan shared the news on Twitter. "As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come. Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best," his tweet read.
The Chennai Super Kings had signed Harbhajan for Rs. 2 crore ahead of the 2018 season. He remained a mainstay spinner for two seasons (2018 and 2019). The 40-year-old was a part of CSK's title-winning campaign in 2018, and helped them reach the grand finale a season later. However, he missed the 2020 edition in the UAE, citing personal reasons.
So far, Harbhajan is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the IPL with 150 scalps from 160 matches, including a best match haul of 5/18. Interestingly, he is also the leading-wicket taker among off-spinners in the tournament. Harbhajan has also represented Mumbai Indians previously, and still holds the second-most wickets for them (127) after Lasith Malinga (170). For CSK, he picked up 23 wickets at 25.30.
Harbhajan Singh has also captained Mumbai Indians in 20 matches from 2008 to 2012. Under him, the MI won 10 and lost as many matches. He also led the franchise in the 2011 Champions League T20, which MI won.
Harbhajan last played for India during the 2016 Asia Cup (vs UAE, Dhaka). Overall, he is a veteran of 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is, having taken 711 international wickets. The right-arm off-spinner played a key role in winning the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the historic ICC World Cup 2011. He remained India's mainstay spinner till the 2011 WC.