‘Don’t behave like animals...': Harbhajan to trolls after Afridi-Gambhir episode | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'All those who think I was laughing at Gautam...': Harbhajan hits back at trolls over Afridi-Gambhir live TV controversy

By, New Delhi
Aug 31, 2022 09:04 AM IST

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has hit back at trolls who feel he was laughing at Gautam Gambhir over a remark made by Shahid Afridi during a live TV segment.

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has hit back at trolls who feel he was laughing at Gautam Gambhir over a remark made by Shahid Afridi during a live TV segment. During the build-up towards the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup match, Afridi when asked about his relationship with Indian cricketers, said that he shares a cordial bond with them. However, Afridi, who has never seen eye-to-eye with former India opener Gautam Gambhir, claimed that no one in the Indian team likes Gambhir.

Harbhajan Singh has reacted strongly to trolls on social media for the Gautam Gambhir-Shahid Afridi controversy(Getty Images)
Harbhajan Singh has reacted strongly to trolls on social media for the Gautam Gambhir-Shahid Afridi controversy(Getty Images)

"It's not like I have had a fight with any of the Indian players. Yes, sometimes there are some arguments with Gautam Gambhir on social media. And I think that Gautam is a sort of character which no one likes even in the Indian team," he had said.

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Gambhir and Afridi had an infamous spat during an ODI between India and Pakistan in 2007, and ever since, things between the two former cricketers haven't been the most pleasant. Over the years, Gambhir and Afridi have clashed on social media about matters on and off the field, and on Sunday, the former Pakistan captain took another dig on live TV.

But while Afridi's remarks on Gambhir quickly generates a storm, it was another former India cricketer, Harbhajan Singh, who found himself caught in it. Harbhajan was part of the Sports Tak Panel, while Afridi was representing Pakistan's Samaa TV. As the two TV channels were in conversation, the moment Afridi made that comment, the camera capturing Harbhajan showed the former India spinner looking down and laughing. And as a result of it, fans were quick to jump the gun on Harbhajan, questioning his integrity towards cricket and loyalty towards India. After being trolling incessantly, Harbhajan has lashed out on the segment of users on social media who are questioning him.

"These people are here just to have fun on somebody else's expense. Their job is to needle in other people's lives. I don't need to give any clarification to anyone. What Gautam and I share and what our bond is, I don't need to say anything to anyone. Let them come up with assumptions. But at the same time, I would like to advice all these people. 'Please be humans, don't behave like animals'. Do you even know the context? Curd had fallen on my feet which is why I laughed. But you guys wouldn't know because you guys were only looking at my face. I stand with every Indian player and it doesn't matter to me what anyone says on social media. Gautam is my brother and my heart beats for India," Harbhajan said on Sports Tak.

Not feeling the need to clarify his actions, Harbhajan went on to explains that he was, is and will stand with Indian, its cricket team and its players till he is breathing. With over 711 wickets from 341 matches, Harbhajan is one of India's most successful spinners and the second greatest spinner after the legendary Anil Kumble. He is a two-time World Cup winner and having proven to being a terrific servant of Indian cricket, Harbhajan feels hurt that his loyalty is being doubted.

"I just want to say... don't ever test me if I'm Indian or not. I am a very proud Indian and I don't need anyone's certificate. I know what my conscious is. I am what I am because of India. So all those who think that I was laughing on Gautam, no. You have seen throughout my career that if anyone goes after my teammates, I go after them. My laughter was completely taken out of context and you guys are connecting it to what Afridi said. Gautam, Dhoni, Yuvi or anyone else is like my family. I don't need to prove it to anyone. If you want to troll me, it's up to you," added the former India spinner.

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