Turbanator is back, will ~~turn~~ for Lashings

Published: Friday, June 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :Harbhajan Singh will make a ceremonious return from a six-month injury lay off when he plays alongside some of the game's all time greats in a 20 overs a side match for English club Lashings in Kent on Tuesday.

The off-spinner, who has been out of action since aggravating a finger injury during the first cricket Test against Australia in December, was scheduled to join Lashings on Monday on a month-long contract, the BBC said quoting aclub official.

In the company of 'Turbanator' for the celebrity club's fixture against Somerset would be stars of the yesteryears - Courtney Walsh, Richie Richardson and Allan Donald, besides Pakistan's explosive opening batsman Shahid Afridi.

Harbhajan originally wanted to start with first-class matches to prove his fitness and form but that did not materialise due to the gradual recovery.

The arrangement with the Kent club means the off-spinner will not be available for the first leg of the fitness camp for the 26 probables in Bangalore from June 13 to 19. The second leg of the camp is slated to begin on July 3.

Meanwhile, fast bowler Zaheer Khan was due to return home on Saturday from England where he had been undergoing a fitness-training programme.

Zaheer, who played a Limited Overs and first-class match for Surrey as an amateur, will join the special fitness camp for fast bowlers at Bangalore from June 7 to 12.

A source close to the player denied the fast bowler was suffering from any fitness problem while playing for Surrey as reported by a section of the media.

"Zaheer bowled 15-18 overs in both innings. He did go for runs but his focus was on getting match fitness.

"He had to skip the third match that he had agreed to play because he had to return to India for the fast bowlers' camp," the source said.

Moreover, Zaheer was playing as an amateur and was not bound by a contract, and his willingness to play for no pay was appreciated by everyone, he said.

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