MP loses top batsman to Chattisgarh

All-rounder Harpreet Singh was the highest scorer in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament last year, amassing 211 runs in four games, with a strike rate of 145.

Harpreet Singh led the Madhya Pradesh side in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last season.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES/V. RAJU

Over the years, Harpreet Singh Bhatia has been one of the most consistent performers for Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.

A member of India's U-19 World Cup in 2010, Harpreet made his debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2008. So far, he has featured in 49 First-Class and 51 List A matches. But as another new season beckons, the 26-year-old batting all-rounder has decided to shift his allegiance to Chhattisgarh. This, interestingly, is also a homecoming for Harpreet, who has his roots in Durg in Chhattisgarh.

Sportstar has learnt that Harpreet has already taken a No Objection Certificate from the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. With the Chhattisgarh team busy with the KSCA Invitational tournament in Bengaluru, Bhatia is presently playing league cricket abroad to prepare for the domestic season.

“It is true that we have issued NOC to the player (Harpreet),” MPCA secretary, Milind Kanmadikar, confirmed to this publication on Monday.

Harpreet was the highest scorer in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament last year, amassing 211 runs in four games, with a strike rate of 145.

In February last year, Harpreet found himself in a spot when he initially missed out on an Indian Premier League berth as the franchise bosses mixed up his name with Mumbai left-arm spinner, Harmeet Singh, who was arrested for driving his car straight onto the platform of the Andheri railway station here.

However, Royal Challengers Bangalore, later, drafted Harpreet in place of injured Sarfaraz Khan.

Last season, Harpreet amassed 629 runs in 10 games, becoming one of the top-10 run-getters of the tournament. He also led the Madhya Pradesh side in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.