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Bhajji wants to be an icon of Indian cricket, says mother

September 22, 2004 19:39 IST

It was an emotional moment for off-spinner Harbhajan Singh's mother Avtar Kaur when she stood in front of President A P J Abdul Kalam to receive the Arjuna Award on behalf of her illustrious son.

"I wish Harbhajan's father was alive. Had he been I would not have been here. He would have been delighted to see his son being honoured with an award which had been given to players like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and many others," Avtar Kaur told on Tuesday.

Harbhajan, who was part of the Indian cricket team that played in the Champions Trophy in England, could not make it in time for the awards ceremony.

"When we told him that he has been selected for the Arjuna Award for 2003, he told me mama aap chale jao [mother you go for it] ," she said.

She was happy that her son has established himself in the Indian team.

"He has worked hard to convert his father's dream into reality. Though his studies suffered because of cricket, his father never discouraged 'Bhajji' from playing the game.

"After the death of his father Bhajji worked even harder. By the grace of God he is doing fine, having taken over 150 wickets in Test cricket. He also possesses an equally good record in one-day games," she said.

Talking about the batting ability of her son, she said when he was at home recently she and his sisters would tease him by telling him how they expected him to get out to the second ball he faced.

"He promised to work on his batting. As a result, he does play few good shots nowadays. He plays his natural game and likes to hit the ball hard. Sometimes he does succeeds," she said with a smile.

So what is Harbhajan's dream?

"He loves to drive his 'Honda City' and takes me and his sisters to visit relatives at times when he is home. He also likes to sing a bit. He wants to settle down in life, but only after his two sisters are married. His dream, of course, is to become an icon of Indian cricket like Kapil Dev and Bishan Bedi."

Onkar Singh