Harbhajan Singh announces launch of Laawaris XI

Harbhajan Singh said his team would comprise ‘like-minded’ players from all over the world who have been similarly ill-treated by their respective boards © Getty Images


By Amrut Thobbi


Please note: This is a humorous piece – pure fiction.


Even as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s beat England at Hyderabad, in another part of India Harbhajan Singh rocked the cricketing world with the sensational announcement of launching his very own international team. Despite the upheavals in his cricketing life recently, Harbhajan showed that he has not lost his sense of humour by naming his team, Laawaris XI.


When someone asked Harbhajan quite innocently why this launch when he was a member of Team India, the off-spinner Harbhajan replied,” Which Team India are you talking about, bro? I’m not part of the Indian team for the One-Day Internationals against England. I have been plucked out like an unwanted weed. Is this is how they treat a player who has taken 400 plus Test wickets? After giving much thought, I have decided that I’m no longer going to care about people who don’t care about me.


Calming down, Harbhajan added: “Yes I agree I had a rough time in the last few months, but does that mean you dump a player like me. Anyways, that’s history now. From now on I will have my own international team, and no one can evict me from this team.”


Harbhajan said his team would comprise “like-minded” players from all over the world who have been similarly ill-treated by their respective boards.


“There won’t be any discrimination in my team selection. Even if you underperform, you will be retained in the squad. You can call it level playing field,” opined Harbhajan. “Moreover, there will be lot of thought going into the schedule to ensure that we are the overwhelming favourites going into any game we play. The idea is to win and win easily. Winning combinations are rarely disrupted and below-par performances do not come under the scanner.”


Though Harbhajan did not reveal the names of the players who will be part of this break-away team, sources close to the off-spinner claim that he has already signed up West Indian players Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in his team. New South Wales captain Simon Katich is also likely to be part of the team.


The assortment of freelance cricketers will play in different parts of the world against international cricket-deprived teams like Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.


Any doubts that this is a hostile breakaway and a rebellion against the board, became evident when Harbhajan announced that the new venture was going to be powered by Lalit Modi.


That, more than anything else, should ensure that the Sardar’s playing days with Team India is history! 


(Amrut Thobbi, an engineering graduate now pursuing Masters in journalism, is an ardent cricket fan who likes to write spoofs, like the one above. His passion for writing inspired him to give up a sales and marketing job, which he does not regret. By writing on cricket, he wants to relive his dream of becoming a cricketer. He has also worked as a freelance writer in education and technology sectors)