Monday, March 17, 2008

Harbhajan available for selection: BCCI

Harbhajan Singh is available for selection, says the BCCI...

The Indian board will inform the national selectors that Harbhajan Singh is fit and should be considered for selection, although he has not been to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to get his fitness assessed.

Harbhajan's team-mate Yuvraj Singh reached the NCA in Bangalore on Monday morning to attend a fitness test hours before the national selectors were scheduled to meet and finalise the 15 for the first two Tests against South Africa. The three-Test series starts in Chennai on March 26.

"Harbhajan has informed the board that he is fit, and it was obvious to us during the Australia tour that he is not injured. Like Sachin Tendulkar who has informed us that he is fit, Harbhajan doesn't have to get a clearance from the NCA," a senior BCCI official told Cricinfo.

Harbhajan's fitness was assessed by India physio John Gloster after the Australia tour and he was diagnosed as having a hamstring injury. Later, Gloster said in his report to the BCCI that Harbhajan needed rest, prompting speculation that he may miss the South Africa series.

The national selectors, headed by Dilip Vengsarkar, had wanted all India candidates to clear the NCA's fitness test, as per the new BCCI norms, before considering them for selection. It remains to be seen whether they will take the board's word on Harbhajan.

South Africa in India 2007-08