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Brat by nature

If you ever wondered how he could do those antics in the ‘gentleman’s sport’, think again! Bhajji talks to Debjeet Kundu about childhood, style fundas and bonhomie among the band of boys.

entertainment Updated: Feb 20, 2009 17:34 IST
Debjeet Kundu
Debjeet Kundu
Hindustan Times

If you ever wondered how Harbhajan Singh could go about doing those antics in the ‘gentleman’s sport’, here is a piece of news — Bhajji has been brat since childhood, and that’s the way he likes it.

Hum toh bahut badmaashi karte the,” says the cricketer as he attended a Reebok camp at a city school recently. Some of this badmaashi can be attributed to his love of cricket even as a boy. “I used to attend only the first period [in school]. Uske baad toh hum field mein bhaag jaate the,” the off-spinner tells us.

Missing the boys
Harbhajan was not part of the team that was thumping Sri Lanka a few days ago, and he was sure missing it. “Yeah, the team was doing great and I’d have loved to be there,” he says. So what’s the formula behind the team’s recent success? Selflessness, says Bhajji, currently in New Zealand for the series against the Kiwis. The secret is “enjoying each other’s success”, states Bhajji.

Brand loyalist
Even as the present bunch is doing fine, Harbhajan keenly feels the gap left by Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble, not just on the field but off it, too. “Filling up their void in the dressing room is impossible,” says Bhajji, who had emerged as one of the top players under Ganguly.

Touching upon the subject of a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ among MS Dhoni’s men — they turned up at a dinner hosted by the Sri Lankan President in their jerseys, forgetting the protocol of wearing formals — Bhajji confesses that he is “very choosy” when it comes to clothes. “I’m brand-conscious, big time.” He likes sporty clothes, and if there is a big occasion, he loves dressing up.

‘We look good’
The present lot of ‘boys in blue’ are not only showy on field, but are style icons as well, especially the likes of Dhoni, Yuvaraj Singh or Ishant Sharma. “Yes, we love to look good, and always end up spending good money on that,” says an honest Bhajji. “Abhi jinko shakal mere jaisi achhi nahi bhi mili ho, woh bhi try karte hain,” he jokes.

Bhajji has not limited himself to looking good off the field, but has tried his hand — rather legs — on screen also. “Oh, it was a very good experience, I enjoyed it thoroughly,” he says, speaking about the dance-based reality show that he had participated in a few months ago.

But what about the criticism that these activities distract a player from his primary goal, which is to play well? Bhajji disagrees. “I think we are all responsible individuals and know when to do what.”

First Published: Feb 20, 2009 16:14 IST