Harbhajan's prayer for Symonds, forgetting the 'Monkeygate' scandal

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Harbhajan's prayer for Symonds, forgetting the 'Monkeygate' scandal

Harbhajan's prayer for Symonds, forgetting the 'Monkeygate' scandal

1 June 2022  Authorbaji99

Cricket Australia lost two stars in just a few months. After Shane Warne, Andrew Symonds also passed away suddenly. The 48-year-old former all-rounder was killed in a road accident. The infamous 'Monkeygate' scandal may have been suppressed this time with Symonds' departure. The two main characters in that scandal were Symonds and Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
According to many, Symonds' cricket career ended with a 'Monkeygate' scandal. What happened then? The scandal erupted in the 2008 Sydney Test between India and Australia. The situation is already heated with one controversial decision after another by the umpires in the match. Harbhajan's racist remarks aimed at Symonds added fuel to the fire.

Australia batted in the first innings of the match and scored more than 400 runs. However, Indian cricketers claim that if the umpire had not made the wrong decision, the Aussies would have been stuck within 300 runs. The Indians did not hesitate to respond. Sachin Tendulkar scored 451 runs for 7 wickets. By that time, India got a lead of about half a hundred runs.

Brett Lee was giving Harbhajan one bounce after another. At that time, Harbhajan went to the other end of the crease and gave Symonds an Indian insult. Although at first Symonds did not understand it, later he came to know that Harbhajan had called him a 'monkey'. That's when the cricketers of the two teams got into trouble. This incident was fueled by umpire Mark Benson. Symonds later officially complained to the umpire. His teammates were also by his side.

However, Harbhajan and Sachin have always denied the issue of racist behavior. But Australia did not want to hear anything. Their only demand is the punishment of Harbhajan. As a result, the animosity between the two parties reached its peak point. The Australian cricketers did not even shake hands with India at the end of the match. However, Adam Gilchrist said that the Australian cricketers shook hands with the Indians in the toilet.

Match referee Mike Proctor banned Harbhajan for three Tests as punishment after a nearly four-hour hearing. However, India did not accept it. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has even threatened to return to the country if Harbhajan's sentence is not revoked.

The matter was later taken to court. A hearing was held at the Federal Court Building in Adelaide. Ponting, Hayden, and Clark appeared as witnesses for Symonds. There was only one, Sachin Tendulkar from India. At the end of the hearing, the then ICC Appellate Commissioner admitted that Harbhajan had not committed any crime. The decision against him was reversed and he was fined 50 percent of the match fee.

But what really happened that day is still in the dark. Although the two cricketers involved in the controversy repeatedly opened their mouths, the real truth did not come out that way. The cricketers of the two teams who played in that match also remained silent. However, the Indians have always claimed that Harbhajan did not make any racist remarks in that match. Aussies, on the other hand, say that even after committing the crime, Harbhajan was released from certain punishment.

But despite all these incidents, the Australian Cricket Board did not stand by Symonds. Which has always hurt this one-time Aussie all-rounder. Ponting wrote in his autobiography that it was the board's fault for not standing by Symonds. Symonds, who later led a chaotic life, was also dropped from the team. He got involved in all the crimes starting from drinking. Symonds finally retired in 2012.

Harbhajan Symonds' scandal melted away when the two played for the same team Mumbai Indians in the IPL. After Symonds' death, Harbhajan prayed for Symonds, "Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul."