When Harbhajan Singh was bowled over by a ‘doosra’ in England

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByHT Correspondent
May 30, 2018 04:21 PM IST

Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Kaif shared anecdotes about their early struggles with the English language while on tour with the Indian cricket team.

Since the beginning of his cricketing career, Harbhajan Singh has been known for flummoxing batsmen with his ‘doosra’.

Harbhajan Singh is a more than capable batsman when needed, but has been bowled over by a few ‘doosras’ thrown his way by the English language.(PTI)
Harbhajan Singh is a more than capable batsman when needed, but has been bowled over by a few ‘doosras’ thrown his way by the English language.(PTI)

However, one thing that left him flummoxed during the early days of his career was his encounter with the English language.

Bhajji, as he is popularly known, recently shared an interesting anecdote featuring his early struggles with English while appearing in the popular web show ‘What The Duck’.

As the story goes, Harbhajan was once asked by a reporter of an English newspaper if he had completed his graduation.

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The Punjab cricketer, though, took graduation for reservation and replied, “Haan sir, reservation ho gayi hai. Mai nikal ja raha hoon (yes sir, I have got reservation done and I am going tomorrow).”

Bhajji is not the only cricketer who had a tough time dealing with English language in the beginning of his career. His former team India teammate, Mohammad Kaif, found himself in a similar situation during a tour of England.

“In England those days, you had to hand over the keys of your room to the reception desk and then collect it when you return. One day after I returned to the hotel, I went to the receptionist and said--key—signaling her to return my keys. However, she asked me to say ‘may I have the keys please’.”

“I repeated ‘key please’ but she kept on urging me to say ‘may I have the keys please’. Finally, I went to my room partner and asked him to collect it saying I was not able to understand her,” said Kaif who had appeared together with Bhajji in the show.

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During the conversation, the show host also revealed a fun fact involving Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan and Virender Sehwag.

In Sathaye’s words, Sehwag had once quipped, “Bhajji, Tendulkar and I are very intelligent as we have wives who speak in English. They taught us and they’ll teach our kids also.”

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