India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh might not shy away from announcing his retirement from international cricket soon if any team in England’s new city-based franchise league ‘The Hundred’ picks him in the player draft slated to take place on October 20 in London. Harbhajan is the only Indian to throw his hat in the ring of the latest version of franchise cricket ‘The Hundred’. Harbhajan has kept his base price at £100,000.
According to a report, BCCI’s policy of not allowing any active Indian cricketer to participate in overseas league might prompt Harbhajan to announce his retirement and follow Yuvraj Singh, who had hung his boots and participated in the Global T20 League in Canada earlier this year.
Harbhajan, who last played for India in 2016 Asia Cup, is among the 25 overseas players on the player draft of ‘The Hundred’ who have kept their base price at £100,000 (US$124,000) or more.
The report also states that the 39-year-old Harbhajan is yet to make a formal approach to BCCI to allow him to take part in the league. Harbhajan is likely to take a step if he gets picked in the player draft. Considering the fact that a comeback in the Indian side is highly unlikely, Harbhajan might not mind to draw curtains on his international career if the BCCI doesn’t relax its rules for him.
The tournament rules dictate only three overseas players are allowed in the squad as well as the team.
With 417 Test scalps, Harbhajan is the most successful Indian bowler among active cricketers. The off-spinner hasn’t played in the longest format for years. He last played a Test match back in 2015 against Sri Lanka.
Harbhajan, however, has been a regular in IPL and still continues to be one of the highest wicket-takers of the tournament with 150 wickets in 160 outings. After his long stint with Mumbai Indians, the veteran offie was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL auctions.
‘The Hundred’ rules
Teams will bat for 100 balls each with overs, normally consisting of six deliveries, lasting for 10 balls with bowlers either bowling five or 10 balls consecutively.
Ben Stokes, who starred at the World Cup and in the Ashes, will play for the Headingley side Northern Superchargers while Root, who plays county cricket in Leeds for Yorkshire, was picked up by Nottingham-based Trent Rockets.
Jofra Archer will spearhead the Southern Brave bowling attack, Jos Buttler will play for Manchester Originals, Chris Woakes represents Birmingham Phoenix and Sam Curran joins brother Tom at Oval Invincibles.
Each team were also able to pick up two “icon” players from their local area, as well as the first two representatives of their women’s side.
World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan will play for the Lord’s franchise, London Spirit, with England women’s captain Heather Knight also heading to the home of cricket.