Harbhajan Singh Plaha, famously known as Bhajji by everyone, is celebrating his 39th birthday today. The former captain of IPL team Mumbai Indians and Punjab for 2012–13 Ranji Trophy, Harbhajan has played for Team India in all three formats, including ODI, Test cricket and T20. Harbhajan aka The Turbunator is married to actress Geeta Basra and is a father to an adorable daughter, Hinaya Heer Plaha, who was born in 2016.
The Indian cricketer has won several accolades for India, including various records. Here are a few interesting facts about the birthday boy that will leave you amazed:
1. Born in Jalandhar, Punjab, Harbhajan was offered the post of DSP in Punjab Police in 2002 by then chief minister, Prakash Singh Badal. However, Harbhajan declined the offer because of his commitments to cricket.
2. Harbhajan was trained to be a batsman by his first coach, Charanjit Singh, but later under the instructions of Davinder Arora, he was trained as a spin bowler.
3. Singh made his Test and One Day International (ODI) debuts in early 1998 at the age of 18. While his career was initially affected by investigations into the legality of his bowling action, he was resuscitated in the Indian Cricket Team for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy team in 2001 after Anil Kumble suffered an injury.
4. In that series, Harbhajan took 32 wickets, becoming the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket.
5. While he received the Arjuna Award for Cricket in 2003, he was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009.
6. In the year 2008, Singh was banned by the ICC, after being was charged for an insult towards Andrew Symonds. In the same year, he was also banned from the first IPL for slapping Sreesanth.
7. Harbhajan’s nickname Bhajji was given to him by former Indian wicket keeper Nayan Mongia, who first coined it since he found it hard to encourage him from behind the wickets using his actual name.
8. Harbhajan Singh is a car enthusiast and shares this interest with former Indian captain M S Dhoni. While Bhajji’s first car was a Ford Endeavour, he bought a Hummer back in 2011.
9. Born on July 3, Harbhajan considers number 3 to be his lucky number. Be it for Mumbai Indians or India, Bhajji chose number 3 jerseys.
10. Following the death of his father in 2000, Harbhajan became the head of the family, and by 2001 had organised weddings for three of his sisters.