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Harbhajan Singh to ex-cop: Players are Indians first, religion irrelevant

Harbhajan Singh’s reply to former top Gujarat policeman Sanjiv Bhatt has gone viral on social media. The ex-top cop had commented on Muslim players in the Indian cricket team

cricket Updated: Oct 24, 2017 14:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Harbhajan Singh,Indian cricket team,Sanjiv Bhatt
Harbhajan Singh made some strong comments against ex-cop Sanjiv Bhatt’s post on Indian cricket team players’ religion.(Hindustan Times)

Harbhajan Singh’s reply to former top Gujarat policeman Sanjiv Bhatt on social media has gone viral. The cop had posted a comment on social media regarding Muslim players in Indian cricket team.

“In the present time, is there any Muslim player in the Indian cricket team? Since independence, how many times has it happened that there are no Muslim players in the Indian team? Have Muslims stopped playing cricket? Or the selectors are following the rules of a different game?” Bhatt said in a social media post, written in Hindi.

In the current Indian side, fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are two Muslim cricketers in the squad, named for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka and the three-match T20I series against New Zealand.

READ | Harbhajan Singh takes dig at Australia’s batting, asks Michael Clarke to return

However, the former policeman’s allegations hinting on communal differences did not go down too well with Harbhajan, who replied by saying that anyone who plays for the national cricket team is an Indian and there should be no discussion on his caste or colour.

Siraj, the son of an auto rickshaw driver in Hyderabad, was on Monday named in the Indian T20I side to face New Zealand in a three-match series starting November 1. Siraj has had a rapid rise in the Indian cricket circles, claiming as many as 41 wickets in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 for Hyderabad and helping his team to qualify for the quarter-final stage.

Siraj was also picked up for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

On the other hand, Shami, who was not picked for India’s three-match ODI series against New Zealand will be a part of the Test squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 13:46 IST