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Putting Monkeygate aside, the twain meets

cricket Updated: Jan 09, 2011 00:21 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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Three years ago, the spat between the two almost brought the cricketing world to a standstill. Although they shook hands after setting 'Monkeygate' (or Maa ki gate) aside, Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds were still considered opposite poles in the fraternity.

But come April 8, the duo will walk together in the same team after the Mumbai Indians succeeded in getting the Australian on their roster.

Having retained Harbhajan even before the auction commenced, it was surprising to see Nita Ambani stepping into the race to buy Symonds. Even as Chennai and Hyderabad --- Symonds' previous IPL team --- were going full throttle to sign the batsman, Mumbai Indians threw their hat into the ring and walked away with the Australian hotshot.

It would be interesting to see how Symonds and Harbhajan gel. Symonds' rapport with skipper Sachin Tendulkar --- whose statement rescued the off-spinner from the racial slur allegation during India's tour of Australia in 2008 --- will also be keenly followed.

"It's going to be very interesting, isn't it?" Hyderabad coach, Darren Lehmann, said.

However, the Mumbai Indians camp expressed confidence it would be a booming association. "This proves that cricket has the capacity to bring all together. Symonds is a great asset to the team," Nita Ambani told the official broadcaster of the auction.