Former Australia captain Michael Clarke recently took a jibe at the current side, suggesting that they were too soft when Virat Kohli-led Team India visited down under during the 2018-19 summer to save their lucrative IPL contracts.
Clarke’s remark that the Aussies “sucked up” to captain Kohli and his teammates, however, didn’t go down well with many players including Australia Test skipper Tim Paine.
On Saturday (April 18), veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also joined the bandwagon in criticising Clarke, asking the latter to name the Australian players who were hesitant in sledging their Indian counterparts to protect IPL deals.
“Virat Kohli does not give contracts to all! If you’re good enough nobody will stop you. Someone like (David) Warner or (Steve) Smith…how can you stop them? They don’t need to fear for their contracts. I don’t know if at all he felt there are guys (who fear for their contracts), he should have named them. But I don’t think putting everyone on the same boat is right,” Harbhajan told IANS in an exclusive chat.
“Every franchise has right to buy whoever they want to buy. They know who can win them games. If they will do well, they will have a better chance to get picked. So it won’t make a difference if you are in Virat’s good books or any other player’s good books. On the contrary, if someone gets Virat out four times under 10 runs, he will say…pick him,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has suspended the IPL 2020 indefinitely due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Considering the gravity of the pandemic, Harbhajan said that IPL or a T20 World Cup could wait for a year.
“One IPL, one World Cup…what difference will it make if it does not happen this year? But if these things go on, our lives will be finished. I know I am not in my 20s anymore, but even if I was…I would have said the same thing,” Bhajji, who was set to play for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020, remarked.
“We have been taking everything for granted. But this (COVID-19) has taught us to be thankful for all small things. Abhi ghar pe khana bhi banta hai to sochta hun chalo khana to hai (now we are thankful that we are getting food). We also used to take our health for granted. What are you going to do with your money, car, house if you are not healthy? We have to respect that,” he added further.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3 and Harbhajan is using this time to learn cooking.
“We are at home, and we do yoga. I am learning cooking. Indian dishes I have learnt, daal sabji banana seekh gaya hu (I have learnt to cook pulses and vegetables). I had never been to the kitchen. I think basic cooking everyone should know,” he concluded.