Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh will appear in a new role as a crucial part of the support staff for one of the high-profile teams in next year’s Indian Premier League. Harbhajan Singh, 41, who played in a few games for Kolkata Knight Riders during the first phase of the IPL last year, did not appear in any of the league’s games in the UAE. Harbhajan Singh is set to announce his retirement from professional cricket next week, following which he will choose between the offers he has received to work as a support staff member for at least a couple of franchises.

“The job could be that of a consultant, mentor, or member of an advisory council, but the franchise with which he is speaking is eager to put his extensive knowledge to good use. He’ll also play a key role in assisting the team in making their auction picks”, on condition of anonymity, an IPL source with knowledge of the matter told PTI. Harbhajan has always been interested in developing players, and that was also his role with the Mumbai Indians in later years when he had a profitable decade.

In fact, while Harbhajan was with the KKR last season, he spent a lot of time teaching Varun Chakravarthy, who has been a key member of the franchise for the past two seasons. Harbhajan Singh had assured Venkatesh Iyer after a few net sessions that he would be a major hit in the league even before he had played a single game in the previous IPL, according to reports. In reality, KKR’s chief coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Eoin Morgan heeded Harbhajan’s recommendations in team selection during the previous season.

“After the season, Harbhajan intended to make an official declaration of his retirement. He’s had lengthy discussions with one of the franchises that have expressed strong interest, but he’d rather not discuss it until the contract is finally signed “, according to the source.