Looks like cricketers Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh, who were at loggerheads just a few years ago, have finally come to terms with their past. In 2008, they traded barbs in the middle of a match, leading to allegations of racism against the Indian fast bowler. But Harbhajan made an about turn recently, surprising everyone by speaking highly of Symonds.
Holed up inside the Bigg Boss house until Sunday, Symonds finally reacts to the praise, saying, “We get on well these days. We said, ‘whatever has happened, has happened.’ There’s no heat between us anymore. Now, we often drink together.”
Symonds remained inside the House for two weeks. So why did the Australian cricketer participate in an Indian reality show which is a world away from what he does professionally?
“I went to the Bigg Boss house for both the money, and to try something new,” says Symonds. “A man has to earn a living. I can’t divulge how much I’ve been paid as my contract doesn’t allow me to do that. But living with the Indian playboys was a great new experience.”
Pooja Mishra, who was earlier a contestant on the show, had re-entered the house as Symonds’s Hindi-to-English translator. “Even after the stay, my Hindi is still very poor. I don’t understand much of what is spoken. It’s a very difficult language and I find it hard to remember the words. Besides, I wasn’t great at school or with books,” regrets Symonds.
The controversy started in 2008 during a test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Harbhajan Singh was accused of calling Symonds, ‘monkey.’ Subsequently, Harbhajan was banned for three tests after being found guilty of racial abuse. The charge was laid by match umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor. The ban was later revoked after an appeal by the Indian team. In media circles, the incident later came to be known as Monkeygate.