New Delhi: Team India’s senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who last played for team India in a T20I in 2016 in the Asia Cup, will be seen in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 as a key member of the support staff of a “high -profile franchise”.
Harbhajan played a few matches for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the first leg of IPL 2021 but did not play a single match in the UAE leg.
The veteran spinner is expected to officially announce his retirement from competitive cricket next week and after that he is expected to decide on one of the offers to join the support staff in one of the high-profile franchises. If this happens, Harbhajan will retire with 700-plus wickets in international cricket.
“The role could be that of a consultant, mentor or part of the advisory group but the franchise with which he is talking is keen to use his vast experience. He will take active part in also helping the franchise decide on their auction picks,” an IPL source privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Harbhajan has always shown interest in grooming young players and that was his role with Mumbai Indians in his later years when he was associated with the franchise for a decade.
The senior off-spinner had spent a lot of time guiding Varun Chakraborty during his association with KKR last year.
Venkatesh Iyer, who was one of the biggest finds in the last season of IPL, had revealed that Harbhajan, after a few net sessions, had told the youngster that he would be a big hit in the league. Interestingly, Harbhajan had made this big prediction about Iyer even before he played his first match for KKR.
Even last season, KKR head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Eoin Morgan followed Harbhajan’s advice in matters of team selection.
“Look, Harbhajan to make a formal announcement of his retirement after the season is over. He has had extended talks with one of the franchises which has shown keen interest but he would like to talk about it only when the deal is formally inked, ” the source told news agency PTI.
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