‘People will know about it in my upcoming autobiography’ – Harbhajan Singh on the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ scandal

Harbhajan said that the netizens aren’t fully aware of what transpired on the ground during the SCG Test.

Andrew Symonds of Australia watches Harbhajan Singh
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Andrew Symonds of Australia watches Harbhajan Singh. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh said that he would make quite a few revelations surrounding the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ scandal from India’s tour of Australia in 2007-08. During the second Test of the series, the then Australia skipper, Ricky Ponting, complained to the on-field umpires that Harbhajan had called all-rounder Andrew Symonds ‘monkey’.

Subsequently, Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson, the two on-field umpires, reported the matter to the match referee, Mike Procter. Thereafter, Harbhajan was found guilty of racial abuse and the match referee handed him a three-match ban. The entire incident didn’t go down well with the Indian team management, who showed their protest.

Later, Harbhajan was released off the charge as Justice John Hansen couldn’t find enough evidence against the Indian off-spinner. The veteran was later charged with a level 2.8 offence, which stood for abuse and insult not amounting to racism. The tweaker was fined 50 percent of his match fees after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

I have never extensively given my side of the story, says Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan, who announced his retirement recently, in the meantime, said that the netizens aren’t fully aware of what transpired on the ground during the SCG Test.

“No one cared about my side of the truth in the whole episode. No one cared what I went through in those few weeks and how I was mentally sinking. I have never extensively given my side of the story but people will know about it in my upcoming autobiography. What I went through shouldn’t have happened to anyone,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying on NDTV.

The game is also remembered for pieces of poor umpiring from Steve Bucknor. Symonds, who went on to get the Player of the Match award, could have been out early, but the umpire failed to spot an outside edge. During India’s run-chase, Rahul Dravid, who opened the batting, was also hard done by.

The decisions turned out to be costly for Team India as they lost the match by 122 runs. However, the visiting team came back to win the Perth Test by a handsome margin. Harbhajan would go on to play a crucial role in the tri-nation ODI series.