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The CV
Harbhajan Singh

Mother of all spinners

He nearly went off to to the US to drive trucks before his career as a dancer, slapper and Aussie-basher took off



© A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment

Aka
Bhajji, The Turbanator, Obnoxious weed (a particularly affectionate one only Mathew Hayden is allowed to use).

In a nutshell
Twirling-shoulder-and-arms tweaker. India's best spinner at home after Anil Kumble, and best spinner abroad after Irfan Pathan. He is the embodiment of the modern Indian cricketer: he loves baiting Aussies, loves dancing, loves giving soundbites, loves putting his foot in it, loves appearing in commercials, and loves being linked to Bollywood dolls. Occasionally to be found on a cricket field.

Where but for the grace of Dada?
In the US, driving trucks: that's right, our Bhajji was about to up sticks and move to America early in his international career, so disillusioned was he with cricket and life. It was only at the insistence of Sourav Ganguly, enraged at the prospect of more carbon monoxide clogging up the atmosphere above the US, that he didn't.

Favourite dance partner
Mona Singh, with whom he appeared on Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina (One player, one beauty). He subsequently got into trouble for allegedly mocking religious deities during the dance performance.

Least favourite dance partner
The clown-prince breakdancer, also known as Sreesanth; memorably, during last year's IPL, Bhajji shook hands vigorously with Sreesanth's face. Unfortunately for him, this cruel world mistook the gesture for a slap.

The fashion accessory Harbhajan cannot be seen without
The full-sleeved shirt.

If Harbhajan went back to school, we'd recommend he attend
Elocution classes, lest he keep inquiring about your mother and you keep thinking he's saying something else entirely.

Drinks his Royal Stag with
Anyone but Andrew Symonds.

Drinks his Royal Stag without
His patka on.

If Harbhajan could choose which team to bowl to
It would be one with 11 Ricky Pontings: "bunny" doesn't describe Harbhajan's mastery over a man he has dismissed more times than he's put his own foot in his mouth.

Most inevitable headline next time Harbhajan plays England
"Onions Bhajji-ed"

Most inappropriate business venture in which Harbhajan has a stake
Sylvie's, a hair salon in Chandigarh, in which he is a partner, along with the eponymous Sylvie, a transgender hairdresser.

Four post-cricket careers Harbhajan could take up
1. Event organiser for the Padma Shri Awards
2. Celebrity truck driver on a reality show road trip across India
3. Ricky Ponting's batting coach
4. After-dinner speaker at the Allan Border Medal, as replacement for that other legendary spinner Phil Tufnell

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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  • Mother of all spinners
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