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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

‘I asked Punjab govt to withdraw my Khel Ratna nomination’: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh cleared the air over why his name was withdrawn from the Khel Ratna nominations by the Punjab government.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 20, 2020 12:19:03 pm
Harbhajan Singh IPL, IPL 2020, IPL in empty stadium, no spectators in IPL, Harbhajan SIngh CSK Harbhajan Singh explains why he asked Punjab government to withdraw his nomination (File Photo)

Amid speculation over why the Punjab government withdrew his nomination from Khel Ratna award shortlist, India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Saturday cleared the air and said that he was the one who had asked them to withdraw his name.

Addressing media outlets, Harbhajan, who has not played for the country since 2016, said that in order to make the award list, an athlete needs to show consistent performances over international waters in the last three years.

“Dear friends, I have been flooded with calls as to why Punjab Govt withdrew my name from Khel Ratna nominations. The truth is I am not eligible for Khel Ratna which primarily considers the international performances in last three years,” the 40-year old posted on his Twitter account.

“The Punjab Govt is not at fault here as they have rightly withdrawn my name. Would urge my friends in media not to speculate. Thank you and regards.

He further clarified that his name was sent late last year. “Lot of confusion and speculation regarding my nomination for Khel Ratna so let me clarify. Yes last year the nomination was sent late but this year I only asked Punjab Govt to withdraw my nomination because I don’t fall under the 3-year eligibility criteria. Don’t speculate further,” he added.

The veteran of 103 Tests and 236 ODIs has claimed 417 and 269 wickets respectively playing for India, and he has also recently backed himself to come out on top in a one-on-one ‘skill’ battle with the best spinners in the country.

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