S Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh were involved in the ‘infamous ‘slapgate’ incident in the very first edition of the IPL back in 2008. It was the first of numerous controversies surrounding the cash-rich league. 15 years down the line, the incident is very fresh in the memories of both cricketers involved in it.
The incident had come to light after Sreesanth was spotted crying on the field after a match between his Kings XI Punjab and Harbhajan’s Mumbai Indians. The face-off even led to Harbhajan being banned from the remainder of the competition and Shaun Pollock taking over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians.
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Harbhajan Singh in many of his previous media interactions admitted that whatever he did back then was wrong and he embarrassed his teammates in the process. Noe for the first time, in many tears S Sreesanth has shared his opinion on the incident. Sreesanth said how he is ever grateful to the former Indian spinner for backing him since his domestic days.
We Have Always Been Friends: S Sreesanth On Harbhajan Singh
“We have always been friends. That was just a misunderstanding and the media made a big noise out of it. I will just say that Bhajji pa has supported me from the beginning in every way, including recently with commentary tips. He has supported me and helped me a lot and I am very thankful to him. There is that song, ‘Tere jaisa yaar kaha’, that is my relationship with him,” said Sreesanth on Sports Yaari.
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Harbhajan spoke about the incident last year saying that he regrets whatever he did in the heat of the moment. He further admitted that it was one of the biggest mistakes of his career and if given an opportunity, he would like to go back in time and correct it if possible.
What Happened Was Wrong: Harbhajan Singh On ‘Slapgate’ Row
“What happened was wrong. I made a mistake. Because of me, my teammate had to face embarrassment. I was embarrassed. If I had to correct one mistake, it was how I treated Sreesanth on the field. It should not have happened. When I think about it, I feel there was no need,” Harbhajan said.
Both Harbhajan and Sreesanth were a part of India’s 2007 and 2011 World Cup winning squads. Harbhajan went on to pick 417 Test and 269 ODI wickets before retiring from all forms of cricket in December 2021.
Sreesanth was one of the best exponents of swing bowling for India and when on song was one of the toughest bowlers to face. The fast bowler played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is in his international career picking up a total of 169 wickets across formats.
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