Veteran off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh laments not being able to play at the Eden Gardens in the upcoming 14th season of the Indian Premier League. Harbhajan, who pulled out of the tournament last season due to personal reasons, was roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders for his base price of Rs. 2 crore after being offloaded by Chennai Super Kings.
The 40-year-old says that while he is excited about donning the purple and gold for Eoin Morgan’s team, his ‘small regret’ is that he will miss out on playing at the iconic Eden Gardens, the home of KKR.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided that no team will play at its home venue this season – since Hyderabad, Punjab, and Rajasthan won’t be hosting games.
Harbhajan Singh asserts that he has plenty of fond memories with the Eden and will is sad about missing out on playing at the venue. Bhajji has picked 46 Test wickets at Eden, including a hat-trick against Australia in 2001. He also won the 2013 and 2015 IPL titles with the Mumbai Indians on the same ground.
“I have very good memories from Eden – Test cricket, ODI cricket – whatever cricket I have played there, even the two titles we had won there for the Mumbai Indians. That is a special ground for me and there will be no cricket there, that small regret will be there but it is an opportunity for me as a player to just go out and be happy about playing cricket,” Harbhajan Singh told Star Sports.
The desire to play is going to get fulfilled: Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh is discarded from the national side and also doesn’t play domestic cricket; IPL is the only tournament which he has played since the past few years – his last professional appearance was in the 2019 IPL final for CSK against MI.
Hence, Harbhajan, who has 150 IPL wickets to his name, is happy that not only the tournament is happening, but it is happening in India itself. KKR will begin its campaign on April 11th against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai.
“Whether the match is in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, or Mumbai, I am feeling good that the IPL is happening in India and we are not going to Dubai or any other place because it is our festival and as a player, I am looking forward to it.
“IPL is a tournament that everyone waits for, whether it is the players or the spectators. For a player like me who only plays the IPL, the desire to play is going to get fulfilled,” the off-spinner further added.