Former Team India off-spinners Harbhajan Singh has been conferred with an honorary Ph.D. in Sports by Ecole Superieure Robert de Sorbon, a renowned French university in a convocation ceremony.
Although, the 41-year-old could not attend the ceremony due to prior committments. Harbhajan is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), representing the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League where his team has made it to the playoffs stage and will be seen playing against RCB in the race to the semi-final.
The French university offers the doctorate degree to popular personalities, including the ones from the sports fraternity.
“If any institution accords respect, you accept that with utmost humility. If I have been conferred with honorary sports doctorate by the university, it is because I played cricket and people have showered their love and affection for that. I am honoured to be conferred with the degree,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying, Cricket.com reported.
Dr. Harcharan Singh Ranauta, the vice-president of the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA), recommended Harbhajan’s name to the university. Harbhajan also expressed his gratitude to the jury which picked him.
“I would like to thank Dr. John Thomas Parade, president Sorbon, Dr. Vivek Choudhury, chairman, Sorbon International Convocation Committee (Celebrity), Dr. Mukesh Tyagi, Sorbon International Convocation Committee, for finding me worthy enough,” he added.
Harbhajan made his debut for India in the late 1990s as a teenager as he announced his arrival at the grand stage of international cricket in 2001 by taking 32 wickets in three Tests against Australia. Since then he established himself as one of India's go-to bowlers for a decade thereafter.
Over the years, the Jalandhar-born spinner became a part of the successful Indian teams that clinched the 2007 T20I World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 ODI World Cup on home soil. In his international career for Team India, Harbhajan picked up 711 wickets with 28 five-wicket hauls and five 10-wicket hauls.