The time when Harbhajan Singh had Ganguly at arms-length

Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly
Indian cricketers Harbhajan Singh (L), Sourav Ganguly (C) and Sachin Tendulkar (R) chat during a practice session. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

During his time with the Indian cricket team, Harbhajan Singh was the prime prankster. Although at 35 he refrains from being a prankster, Bhajji has known to pull the legs of many from time to time. Things came to an abrupt halt in 2005 when the Indian cricket team was facing its biggest arch-rivals Pakistan in Kochi. Ironically, this incident took place nearing the 1st of April.

In 2005, when the Indian team was playing arch-rivals Pakistan in Kochi, Ganguly, who once was an inspiration to youngsters, offered to step down from captaincy due to a prank played by Harbhajan and the rest of the Indian team.


Speaking on prominent chat show ‘What the duck?’, Bhajji was quoted saying: “We arranged for a person to make paper cuttings of a local newspaper and we told him to mention in the copy that ‘Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, and Harbhajan Singh are very unprofessional, all their concentration is on parties, the outside world and they are not serious about the game. After that, we took the cuttings on practice day on April 1 and we all had a blast,” Harbhajan said.

Also, read – The notorious, the mischievous – 7 Pranksters of cricket

“I picked up my kitbag and started saying, ‘What is all this Dada? You say anything about us whenever you want? You said we go to discos, we do parties, we roam with girls. OK, we know you are the captain but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about our game! Dada was shocked saying, ‘When did I say this?’” Harbhajan guffawed.

A stunned Sourav Ganguly took a few hours to digest this piece of news as he also stated that he would step down from his post as skipper.

Bhajji also recalled another incident in 2002, where Sourav Ganguly removed his shirt on the Lords pavilion after India won the series against England. He wanted to do the same only to be stopped.