Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Saturday 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"The Punjab Govt is not at fault here as they have rightly withdrawn my name.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."
Harbhajan, who has 417 Test and 269 ODI wickets is an Arjuna Awardee and was also conferred with Padma Shri.
Harbhajan last represented India in Test and ODIs in 2015.
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Manjrekar, a well-known commentator, said he had a chat with the two-time World Cup-winning former captain regarding his future in international cricket during India skipper Virat Kohli's wedding in 2017.
With India scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023, Billings feels his ability to play spin will hold him in good stead.
The 64-year-old Vengsarkar, a batting stalwart and a former Chairman of Selection Committee, had also served as vice-president of MCA. He played 116 Tests between 1976 and 1992.