The Hundred: BCCI denies the report of Harbhajan Singh entering the tournament's player draft

The mega-draft of The Hundred will take place in a star-studded event on October 20.

The mega-draft of The Hundred will take place in a star-studded event on October 20.
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Harbhajan Singh (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

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The mini-draft of The Hundred took place on Thursday and the names of the English red-ball players, Women’s centrally contracted cricketers and the local icons for each of the eight city-based franchises we’re revealed today. While the Northern SuperChargers- at Headingley based team- have picked all-rounder Ben Stokes, ahead of Yorkshiremen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has been chosen as one of the local icons of London Spirit. Test captain Joe Root will spearhead the Trent Rockets while Test discards Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy will feature for Welsh Fire and Oval Invincibles respectively.

This was off-course the mini-draft. The rest of the squads will be finalized in a star-studded draft on October 20. The draft will feature the who’s who of international cricket: Chris Gayle, Steven Smith, David Warner, Shahid Afridi, Lasith Malinga, Faf du Plessis to name a few.

However, what turned out to be the biggest news was when reports emerged that veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also thrown his hat in the ring, becoming the first Indian to officially enter the draft and that the off-spinner has placed himself in the £1,00,000 bracket.

BCCI denies the report of Harbhajan entering The Hundred draft

As per the policy of the Board of Cricket for Control in India [BCCI], no Indian player can play in overseas leagues unless he has retired from the game. Recently, all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh brought down the curtains on his 19-year-old career so that he could go and play overseas in franchise tournaments.

According to the reports, the off-spinner was likely to seek the permission of BCCI after the draft, but on Friday, the BCCI denied reports pertaining to the off-spinner being drafted into The Hundred. The BCCI further clarified that Harbhajan has categorically denied such a development.

“Harbhajan has never sought a No Objection Certificate from the BCCI. He can’t just enroll his name in any league. It’s against the BCCI’s policy. The board has checked with him after the report surfaced and he has categorically denied any such development,” a top BCCI official told Times of India on Thursday.

Harbhajan, who is 13th on the list of most Test wickets [417] in the world, and third in all-time leading wicket-takers for India behind Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev, last featured in the national squad during the 2016 World Twenty20. The turbanator sits third on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in the IPL tournament’s history.

The official signed off by alluding to the fact that Harbhajan is a seasoned campaigner and he won’t take such a drastic step without consulting the board, “Harbhajan is a seasoned campaigner. He won’t take such a drastic step without checking with the board. If he has plans, he will let the board know,” the official said.

The mega-draft of The Hundred will take place in a star-studded event on October 20.

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