Harbhajan Singh Plaha (pronunciation ; born 3 July 1980 in Jalandhar, Punjab, India), commonly known as Harbhajan or simply Bhajji, is an Indian international cricketer, who plays all forms of the game cricket. A specialist spin bowler, he has the second-highest number of Test wickets by an off spinner, behind Sri Lankas Muttiah Muralitharan.
He is the former captain of IPL team Mumbai Indians and Punjab for the 2012–13 Ranji Trophy season.Singh made his Test and One Day International (ODI) debuts in early 1998. His career was initially affected by investigations into the legality of his bowling action, as well as several disciplinary incidents. However, in 2001, with leading leg spinner Anil Kumble injured, Harbhajans career was resuscitated after Indian captain Sourav Ganguly called for his inclusion in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy team. In that series victory over Australia, Harbhajan established himself as the teams leading spinner by taking 32 wickets, becoming the first Indian bowler to take a hat trick in Test cricket. He is also an Officer in the Punjab Police and has held the rank of a Superintendent of police (India), reporting to Punjab Police HQ at Barnala.
A finger injury in mid-2003 sidelined him for much of the following year, allowing Kumble to regain his position as the first choice spinner in Tests and ODIs. Harbhajan reclaimed a regular position in the team upon his return in late 2004, but often found himself watching from the sidelines in Test matches outside the Indian subcontinent with typically only one spinner, Kumble, being used. Throughout 2006 and into early 2007, Harbhajans accumulation of wickets fell and his bowling average increased, and he was increasingly criticised for bowling defensively with less loop. Following Indias first-round elimination from the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Harbhajan was replaced by other spinners in the national squad for both formats. He regained a regular position in the team in late 2007, but became the subject of more controversy. In early 2008, he was given a ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for racially vilifying Andrew Symonds. The ban was revoked upon appeal, but in April, Harbhajan was banned from the 2008 Indian Premier League and suspended from the ODI team by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for slapping Sreesanth after a match. He appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestlings Indian promotion, Ring Ka King. He was in the World Cup-winning team of 2011 Cricket World Cup.
He was conferred the Padma Shri, Indias fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009.