Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has spoken out about how he and Andrew Symonds reconciled after the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal. On the field, both Harbhajan and Symonds were very aggressive and this consequently led to the Harbhajan and Monkeygate Scandal. The two had numerous on-field squabbles and verbal clashes.
In 2008, when Australia and India faced off in the Sydney Test, one of the major occurrences was the Monkeygate scandal. Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a monkey during that match, which the off-spinner disputed.
The incident drew a lot of attention, and many fans and pundits are still thinking about it. Harbhajan and Symonds shared a dressing room with the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL a few years after the event. The franchise signed the Australian before the IPL 2011.
Harbhajan Singh told Sportskeeda about the time he and Andrew Symonds hugged and apologised to one other. He said that the couple resolved their differences at a friend’s house in Chandigarh, where a number of Mumbai Indians players captured the occasion on camera.
“I remembered an incident when we were in Chandigarh. After playing a match that we won, we went to my friend’s place. There, we hugged for the first time and apologized to each other. We felt that the issue could have been sorted out more amicably. Both of us felt sorry. A lot of my friends from Mumbai Indians clicked pictures of that moment,” Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan claimed that when MI selected Symonds in their IPL 2011 squad, he didn’t like it and was concerned about how he would get along with the Australian.
He claimed that when Symonds walked into the dressing room, he was a completely different person and that they began to eat and sit together at night after that. He said that there was never any ‘hostility’ between them.
“When Mumbai picked him, the first thought that came to my mind was – ‘why did they pick him? How will we (me and Symonds) get along together?’ When he entered the MI dressing room, Andrew was a different man altogether. I thought he would be some angry person and I feel he would have thought the same about me.
“In fact, we used to eat together and sit together at night.
The controversy between me and Symonds was blown out of proportion by the media. When we met, we never felt that there was any such animosity between us,” he said.
When they started playing together, Harbhajan Singh stated, things changed and they both put their pasts behind them and focused solely on moving MI forward in the IPL.
“Everyone knows what used to happen when we were opponents on the cricket field. But things changed when we started playing together. We sat together, and we spoke about things that had happened earlier. Ponting sat with me and discussed ways to take the team forward because I was also a senior member of the squad. We put behind our past and focused completely on taking Mumbai forward in the IPL,” he said.
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