The year 2008 was a hugely controversial one for off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was first involved in the ‘MonkeyGate’ with Andrew Symonds and then ‘SlapGate’ with his then Indian teammate Santhakumaran Sreesanth.
The Slapgate took place during the inaugural IPL season where Bhajji was part of the Mumbai Indians’ and Sreesanth put on the silver and reds for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
During the face-off between the two teams in the league stages at PCA Stadium in Mohali, the host came out triumphant.
Cheeky-natured Sreesanth attempted to rub his nose over the victory and in turn, agitated Bhajji even more.
In a recent interaction, Sreesanth revealed what he actually told the off-spinner. “Punjab Bombay ko haraayenge, Punjab Bombay ko haraaynge,” The Kerala-born told Bhajji.
A furious Bhajji took the matter in his own hands and slapped Sreesanth, who was later seen crying inconsolably.
Now the fast bowler has opened up to crying and begging in front of BCCI-appointed Commissioner, Sudhindra Nanavati, such that they did not punish Bhajji.
“It was all sorted and thanks to Sachin paaji (Sachin Tendulkar), you guys play in the same team, I said absolutely fine, I’ll go and meet him. We met and had dinner on the same night but the media took it to the next level,” Sreesanth told Cricketaddictor.
“And even in front of Nanavati sir, they have the video clipping also if not, where I’m literally crying and begging and telling him not to ban or do anything with Bhajji paa, we are going to play together, I don’t want anything to be taken away from Bhajji paa because he is a match-winner, he has taken hat-tricks for India, I’ve just started playing and I want to win matches with Bhajji paa because I consider him as my elder brother…there is a video….I don’t know whether they will give it to you or not….you can ask Nanavati sir,” he said.
“But I’m absolutely fine with Bhajji paa….he’s changed a lot, I’ve….in public also he has said ‘Sree tu kahi bhi ho yaar, maaf karde’….he was always my elder brother, maybe at that point of time it was different but he will always be a legend,” concluded Sreesanth.