The Turbanator: Harbhajan Singh profile




Harbhajan Singh is born 3 July 1980 into a lower middle class Punjabi family in Jalandhar, Punjab, India. He is an Indian cricketer. A specialist bowler, he has the second-highest number of Test wickets by an off spinner behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan.

One of his common nicknames, outside India, is The Turbanator, deriving from his skill as a bowler in terminating the innings of the opposing team, and the fact that, as a Sikh, he wears a black turban whenever he plays. Among Indians, Harbhajan is more commonly known as bhajji.

He is the only son of Sardar Sardev Singh, a businessman who owned a ball bearing and valve factory. Growing up with five sisters, Harbhajan was in line to inherit the family business, but his father insisted that he concentrate on his cricket career and represent India.

Harbhajan was trained as a batsman by his first coach Charanjit Singh Bhullar, but converted to spin bowling after his coach's untimely death saw him turn to the tutelage of Davinder Arora. Arora credits Harbhajan's success to a work ethic that included a three hour training session in the morning, followed by an afternoon session lasting from 3 pm until after sunset.

Following the death of his father in 2000, Harbhajan became the family head, and as of 2001, had organised marriages for three of his sisters.

Harbhajan made his Test debut in the Third Test against Australia in Bangalore, where he scored 4 not out and a duck, and recorded the modest match figures of 2/136 as Australia won the match by eight wickets.

He made his ODI debut against New Zealand. He took 1/32 from ten overs on debut as India narrowly won by 15 runs.

His career was initially beset by investigations into the legality of his bowling action and disciplinary incidents that raised the ire of cricket authorities. However in 2001, with leading leg spinner Anil Kumble injured, Harbhajan's career was resuscitated after Indian captain Sourav Ganguly called for his inclusion in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy team. In that series victory over Australia, Harbhajan established himself as the team's leading spinner by taking 32 wickets, becoming the first Indian bowler to take a hat trick in Test cricket.

Following his performance against Australia in 2001, the Government of Punjab awarded him Rs. 5 lakh, a plot of land, and an offer to become a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab Police, which he accepted.

In early 2008, he was given a ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for racially vilifying Andrew Symonds. The ban was revoked upon appeal, but in April, Harbhajan was banned from the 2008 Indian Premier League and suspended from the ODI team by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for slapping Sreesanth after a match.

He was conferred the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009.



FORMATVsVENUEDATE
TESTSAustralia Bangalore Mar 25, 1998
ODISNew ZealandSharjah Apr 17, 1998
T20South AfricaJohannesburg01 Dec, 2006

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