June 23, 2003

Harbhajan heads to Australia for operation

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh, the Indian offspinner, will undergo surgery on his injured right knuckle next week - but not in Baltimore, as was widely expected, but at the Avenue Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Last week Harbhajan was given permission by the Indian board (BCCI) to have the operation, and it had been thought that he would fly to America and be dealt with by Dr Dror Paley at the same hospital as Sachin Tendulkar underwent surgery earlier this year.

But Harbhajan changed his mind at the weekend after talking to Shane Warne and Dr Sudhir Warrier, a finger specialist. "He is leaving on Saturday and will have the surgery in Melbourne," said Sharad Diwadkar, the executive secretary of the BCCI.

Harbhajan is expected to remain in Australia for between seven and ten days.