For Harbhajan country comes first, not County

Published: Saturday, June 5, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Jalandhar:Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh will not play for the English cricket club Lashings and attend the fitness camp for Asia Cup probables in Bangalore instead.

The bowler was all set to fly to England for a 20-overs-a -side match for Lashings on Monday but pulled out of the nearly month-long assignment apparently because his stint in Kent would have clashed with the Bangalore camp starting on June 13.

"Since I am totally fit now, I want to practice bowling for long stretches. Playing 20-overs-a-side matches would not have been sufficient for practice and that is why I have decided to cancel the trip to England," Harbhajan said adding he would now join his teammates for the seven-daycamp in Bangalore.

"The fitness camp would be good for me as it can help me regain the kind of form needed for international cricket. I am also spending two to three hours here everyday and practicing hard. As far as my trip to England is concerned, I now feel it would not have been worth it as it would have required bowling in short spells."

The 'Turbanator', who has been out of action since aggravating a finger injury during the first Test against Australia in December last year, admitted that although he had recovered from the injury, he would have to prove his fitness before making a comeback to the national side for the Asia Cupbeginning on July 16 in Sri Lanka.

Harbhajan also said he would play a couple of local tournaments for his company, the Indian Airlines, before the fitness camp begins.

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