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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

I was literally begging and crying not to ban Bhajji Paa: S Sreesanth on 2008 ‘slapgate’

Recalling the incident Sreesanth said that he didn't want anything to be taken away from Harbhajan because he was a match-winner and they played together for India.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: June 27, 2020 5:32:05 pm
S Sreesanth, Sreesanth- Harbhajan Singh, 2008 IPL slapgate, slapgate 2008, Sreesanth cying, Harbhajan slaps sreesanth Sreesanth says Harbhajan has been someone who stood beside him during tough times. (Source: Express Archive)

S Sreesanth, who is preparing to return to the cricket field, with his home state Kerala considering him for Ranji Trophy selection, opened up on one of the biggest controversies of his career.

Relating what happened behind closed doors during the 2008 ‘slapgate’ controversy during the IPL, Sreesanth said it was he who had ‘begged’ before the BCCI not to ban Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan had publicly slapped him during the match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians in April that year.

Sreesanth, during a Facebook Live session with CricketAddictor, said,” There came a time when I was literally crying and begging in front of the IPL commissioner and telling him not to ban or do anything with Harbhajan Singh.”

Recalling the incident, the speedster said, “I was in a kiddish mood and was trying to tease Bhaji Paa when he got out. I could not realise that he was in a different mood. But Sachin Tendulkar came to intervene saying both of you play for the same team and we resolved everything out there only. We had dinner together thereafter but the media took it to another level.”

READ | Sreesanth rant in 2013 reopens ‘slapgate’ controversy with explosive claims

He also added that he didn’t want anything to be taken away from Harbhajan because he was a match-winner and they played together for India.

Sreesanth also said that everything got sorted between the two of them the same night and Harbhajan Singh has also supported him during tough times later in his career. “We talk to each other. He is the one who stood by me in these last seven years. When North played here (Kerala) in Duleep Trophy in 2018, I met Bhajji Paa and Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag in the hotel,” he said.

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