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Harbhajan eyes Surrey future with optimism

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May 31, 2005 21:47 IST

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is determined to put the lingering controversy over his bowling action behind him as he prepares to experience English county cricket for the first time.

The 24-year-old from Punjab, who was signed by Surrey Country Cricket Club last November, was cleared two days ago by the International Cricket Council to bowl after being reported in March for throwing his 'doosra' delivery.

"I'm not upset anymore," Harbhajan told a news conference after training with Surrey at The Oval on Tuesday.

"I'm happy everything is sorted out now ... I don't want to keep mentioning all this.

"I was always confident," added the turbanned spinner, who will make his Surrey debut in a four-day game against Warwickshire starting on Wednesday.

"I hope that this is sorted out for the rest of my life. I just want to play and do whatever I can for the team."

Harbhajan, who has played 45 Tests for India, was reported in March for chucking during the second Test against Pakistan in Kolkata over his 'doosra', a delivery that spins away from a right-handed batsman, the opposite direction to an off break bowler's stock ball.

Two days ago the game's governing body, the ICC, gave him conditional clearance to bowl as long as he sticks to the action which was cleared during a bio-mechanical test undertaken in Australia in February.


He was previously reported during the second and final Test in Bangladesh in December.

An ICC-appointed bio-mechanical expert Marc Portus found changes in Harbhajan's bowling action from the February Test, but could not give a conclusive verdict due to the poor quality of television footage and camera angles in Kolkata.

Harbhajan, who taken 199 Test wickets at an average of 28.17, was first reported for throwing early in his career in 1998.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed there will be no further hassles in the future," he added.

The Indian finger spinner came close to having his first taste of the English county game with Lancashire in 2003, but his plans had top be aborted because of injury.

"I've always wanted to come play over here (to England) because I've seen so many guys playing here and learning a lot about their own games," Harbhajan said.

"Hopefully I'll get to learn a lot and I'll be a much better cricketer after playing for Surrey."

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