From Monkey Gate Scandal to Playing Together Harbhajan Singh shocked on Andrew Symonds death
Australian cricket has suffered a major setback. Former all-rounder Andrew Symonds died in a car accident on Saturday night at the age of 46. Symonds was one of the best all-rounders of his time. Symonds helped revolutionize batting with power-hitting. He represented Australia in 198 ODIs, 26 Tests and 14 T20Is. He also had a deep connection with controversies.
Who can forget the Monkeygate scandal. This is the biggest controversy in the cricket world. The rift between Team India’s former cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Symonds increased to such an extent that the matter reached to racism. This incident is from the 2008 Sydney Test. Symonds had alleged that Harbhajan used the word ‘monkey’ during a heated argument with him. However, Harbhajan has said that he never used racial remarks.
The dispute between Symonds and Harbhajan has led to a war of words between the two teams. India threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the star spinner was suspended for three matches. The matter reached the match referee Mike Proctor. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodged a protest over the suspension of its player. However, the allegation of racism on Harbhajan could not be proved later and the three-Test ban was lifted.
After this incident, no one would have thought that Harbhajan and Symonds would be seen playing together with the same team, but it happened. In IPL 2011, Mumbai Indians (MI) added Symonds to their side. Regarding this, Bhajji said that when Mumbai bought Symonds, he was initially surprised. He said the Australian cricketer appeared to be a completely “different man” in the IPL.
Harbhajan told Sportskeeda, “When Mumbai chose him, the first thought that came to my mind was- ‘Why did they choose him? How will we (me and Symonds) be together?’ When he entered the MI dressing room, Andrew was a different man entirely. I thought he would be angry and I think he must have thought the same way about me.”
Harbhajan also said, “Actually, we used to eat together at night and sit together. The dispute between me and Symonds was exaggerated by the media. When we met, we never felt that there was any problem between us.” Bhajji broke down on the death of Symonds. He tweeted, “Shocked to hear about the sudden passing of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul.”