Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Saturday (July 18) clarified the Punjab government's decision to withdraw his nomination for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award as he doesn't fit in the eligibility criteria for country's highest sporting honour.
"I have been flooded with calls as to why Punjab Govt withdrew my name from Khel Ratna nominations. The truth is I am not eligible for Khel Ratna which primarily considers the international performances in last three years," the 40-year-old cricketer tweeted.
"The Punjab Govt is not at fault here as they have rightly withdrawn my name. Would urge my friends in media not to speculate."
He also added, “Lots of confusion & speculation regarding my nomination for Khel Ratna so let me clarify. Yes, last year the nomination was sent late but this year I only asked Punjab Govt to withdraw my nomination because I don’t fall under the 3-year eligibility criteria. Don’t speculate further.”
Harbhajan, who has 417 Test and 269 ODI wickets is an Arjuna Awardee. He last represented India in Test and ODIs in 2015.