Former Indian horseman Harbhajan Singh will be seen in a different avatar at next year’s Indian Premier League as a key support staff member in one of the top franchises.
Harbhajan, 41, who made a few appearances in the first phase of the last IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders, did not make any appearances in the UAE phase of the league.
It is expected that within the next week Harbhajan will officially announce his retirement from competitive cricket and after that he is expected to vote on one of the offers he has to be part of the support staff of at least two franchises.
The role could be that of a consultant, mentor, or advisory group member, but the openness he talks to is keen on using his vast experience. He will also be actively involved in helping the franchise decide their bidding choices, ” an IPL source familiar with the development told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Harbhajan has always shown a keen interest in player grooming and this was also his role in the later years with the Mumbai Indians where he spent a successful decade.
In fact, in the KKR last year, Harbhajan spent a lot of time guiding Varun Chakravarthy, who has been an integral part of the franchise for the past two seasons.
Venkatesh Iyer, the find from the last IPL, had earlier revealed that it was Harbhajan who told him after a few sessions at the net that he would be a big hit in the league before he even played a single game.
In fact, over the past season, KKR head coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Eoin Morgan also heeded Harbhajan’s advice on team selection.
“Look, Harbhajan wanted to make an official retirement announcement after the season is over. He has had extended talks with one of the franchises which has shown strong interest, but he would like to talk about it only when the deal is officially signed, ” the source said.
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