Millennium Post

Harbhajan told he can't be part of 'The Hundred' draft: BCCI

New Delhi: Even though reports surfaced that Harbhajan Singh might announce his retirement if he is picked in the player draft of England's new city-based franchise league 'The Hundred', the spinner has already been told by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he can't be a part of the draft as he is still an active Indian player.

A senior board functionary said that the off-spinner has already been informed that he cannot be a part of the player draft on October 20 in London.

"He cannot go for the draft, we have said no because he is still a player. He cannot put his name in the draft and he doesn't have the NOC from the BCCI. Anybody even after retirement has to inform the board so that the BCCI is not liable for any situation later," the functionary explained.

Harbhajan who last played for India in the 2016 Asia Cup has been an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings outfit and made his presence felt in the very first game of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League by picking the Man of the Match award for his spell of 3/20 from his four overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Former India players like Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan have in the recent past said that the presence of Indians in the different leagues across the world could help the youngsters in those leagues learn from the Indians.

"I feel that is something the BCCI will look at, but currently there are certain restrictions. But having said that, you know people like Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) have got the permission to go and play (in Global T20). So, I don't see any issue if some of these players want to go and play, but the BCCI will have to give them NOC.

"At this point in time, it is good to have someone like Yuvi play in the leagues and in the future you will perhaps see more players from India participating in the leagues," Kumble said.

Zaheer on his part had said: "It completely depends upon the players themselves and BCCI if they are cleared to take part in the league.

"It would be great to see more Indian players take part in the Abu Dhabi T10 league and express themselves."

Meanwhile, India had a long day in the field on Day 3 of the 1st Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam on Friday, as the visitors took their score to 358/8, but Rohit Sharma was seen being up to his pranks even in the last session of the day.

With Ravichandran Ashwin (5/128) being the most effective bowler after Tea, and India operating with spin from both ends, Rohit Sharma was heard on the stump mic trying to 'communicate' with Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan was on Hindi commentary duty at the time.

"Come in come in Bhajju paa come in. Bhajju paa aapke liye kaafi rough bann chukka hai, idhar aa jaiye thoda ball daaliye (A lot of rough has been created on the pitch, come and bowl for us)" — Rohit was heard saying during a break between overs.

The moment came about just after Ashwin had completed his fifer, bowling out Vernon Philander with a ball that turned a mile inside from the off stump line.

South Africa ended the day with 2 wickets remaining and 117 runs behind India's first innings score.

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