'If I had to correct one mistake, it was how I treated S Sreesanth' - Harbhajan Singh opens up on slapgate during IPL 2008

"Because of me, my teammate had to face embarrassment. I was embarrassed," Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan Singh and S. Sreesanth
Harbhajan Singh and S. Sreesanth. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has opened up about one of the biggest controversies in which he was involved during his playing days. The veteran spinner has now admitted that he made a terrible mistake after slapping his former Indian teammate S Sreesanth during the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In IPL 2008, the Kings XI Punjab (Now Punjab Kings) pacer S Sreesanth was slapped by then Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Harbhajan during a group stage clash being played at Mohali. The controversial incident gained a lot of heat as Sreesanth was caught crying by the cameras before the presentation ceremony.

Because of me, my teammate had to face embarrassment: Harbhajan Singh

“What happened was wrong. I made a mistake. Because of me, my teammate had to face embarrassment. I was embarrassed. If I had to correct one mistake, it was how I treated Sreesanth on the field. It should not have happened. When I think about it, I feel there was no need,” Harbhajan said at Glance LIVE Fest.

Even though the former Indian speedster Sreesanth downplayed the incident, calling Harbhajan Singh as his elder brother, the former Indian spinner was not allowed to collect his salary and was banned for the rest of season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also conducted a special investigation and banned Harbhajan for five ODIs after finding him guilty.

Meanwhile, MI finished in the fifth position and failed to qualify for the playoffs during IPL 2008. The Men in Blue and Gold played a total of 14 games and could only manage to win seven. As a result, they were knocked out of the competition.

Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, finished second in the points table in the season. The Punjab franchise won 10 out of their 14 matches and qualified for the playoffs stage after being second on the points table, behind Rajasthan Royals (RR).