The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BCCI clears Harbhajan trip

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has okayed Harbhajan Singh’s surgery in the US. Harbhajan, who has had to miss a season with Lancashire owing to the injury on his right hand, is expected to leave for Baltimore at the earliest.

“We have cleared the trip and all expenses will be borne by the BCCI,” president Jagmohan Dalmiya told The Telegraph from London, Monday afternoon.

If required, either Dr Anant Joshi or Dr Sudhir Warrier will accompany the ace off-spinner. According to Dalmiya, that bill will also be picked up by the BCCI.

Harbhajan, then, is being treated on a par with Sachin Tendulkar.

Agencies add: “I want to get it over as quickly as possible. Now that it’s identified, it’s better I don’t lose any time on it,” Harbhajan said from Jalandhar.

“Of course I can’t really comment when I would be off for the US because we also have to ensure the availability of doctors and confirm the dates,” he added.

Harbhajan, in all probability, will be operated upon by the same doctor who treated Tendulkar’s injured hand in April.

The off-spinner underwent an MRI scan at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on Friday and since then things have moved quickly towards an imminent operation.

“I spoke to Sachin and he too advised me to go for an operation as quickly as possible. Since it is a hand injury, its better it is attended to quickly,” Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan injured his hand because of the unusually wide and tight grip he employs to gain extra spin. Former great Bishan Singh Bedi has also advised Harbhajan to go for a firm rather than tight grip to avoid extra strain on his bowling hand.

“I respect the advice of my seniors. But only I know what is good for me. If I go for a firm rather than tight grip who knows I might not be able to land the ball at all in the right areas,” Harbhajan signed off.

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