Chennai Super Kings release off-spinner Harbhajan Singh

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was one of the first Indian players to be released by an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. On IPL 2021 ‘Retention Day’, Harbhajan Singh took to Twitter to announce that he had not been retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the upcoming season.

“As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best..” Harbhajan announced on Twitter.

Harbhajan was one of the two CSK players along with Suresh Raina who chose to skip the 13th edition of the IPL in UAE due to COVID-19 restrictions. In the 2019 season, Harbhajan had picked up 16 wickets from 11 games at an average of 19.5.

Since Harbhajan was released from from CSK, it frees up Rs 2 crore in the Chennai Super Kings kitty already ahead of deadline for IPL 2021 retention. There is already speculation that CSK might not retain Raina along with Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay. Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has already announced his retirement from active cricket.

In 160 IPL games in his career, Harbhajan managed to pick up 150 wickets at an impressive average of 26.44 with a brilliant economy rate of 7.05 in his career. The 40-year-old Punjab tweaker turned out in 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20s for India. He picked up 417 Test wickets and 269 ODI scalps.

The veteran off-spinner had pulled out of the 13th edition of the IPL due to personal reasons, choosing not to travel to the United Arab Emirates.