You make kids cry for scratching a cricket ball but someone gets saved after calling another person a monkey: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar even went on to claim that the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup could have definitely happened but were sacrificed for the sake of the IPL.
Updated - Jul 22, 2020 5:25 pm
The infamous ‘monkeygate’ scandal involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds was a raging debate in 2008. On the third day of the second Test between Australia and India, Harbhajan, at the SCG, was accused of hurling a racial slur at Symonds.
The scandal led to Harbhajan getting a three-match ban from the ICC, after the hearing which comprised the then Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke, who testified in favour of Symonds.
Sachin Tendulkar was the lone player who spoke in the favour of Harbhajan as the Little Master was the closest player to hear what exactly happened on the field that day. Team India later appealed against the punishment’s levied on Harbhajan along with the racial-abuse charge. The ban of Harbhajan was eventually lifted after the ‘racism charge’ against Bhajji was not proven.
More than a decade after the incident, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has hinted at the BCCI using its dominance to get results in their favour. The Rawalpindi Express, citing the Harbhajan-Symonds incident, said that all international boards are only interested in getting financial benefit from the Indian board.
“Sometimes they get easy wickets in Melbourne, at times someone calls another person a monkey but gets saved, the talk goes to boycotting the series. I am asking the Australians, where are their ethics? You made kids cry for scratching a cricket ball and they got away by calling someone a monkey. They [BCCI] said to end the series and they [Australian Board] said no such incident happened,” said Akhtar, while talking to Geo Cricket.
Akhtar, after breaking into the national side in 1997, donned the Pakistan jersey in 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is. The lethal fast bowler also rued the current state of international cricket as he feels that cricket has undergone a steady decline from the glory days of the past. According to Akhtar, if the ICC doesn’t take rigid steps for the sport’s resurgence, cricket will only be reduced to a couple of World Cups and T20 leagues.
Asia Cup could have definitely happened: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar even went on to claim that the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup could have definitely happened but were sacrificed for the sake of the IPL. The speedster highlighted that the BCCI has been successful in creating the hegemony at the biggest level.
“What are you talking, has the hegemony not happened till now? What do you mean by we can’t allow it to happen, who are we? The world has never supported the oppressed,” said Akhtar during the interaction.
“Asia Cup could have definitely happened, it would have been a great chance for India and Pakistan to play against each other. There are many reasons behind this, I don’t want to get into that. T20 World Cup could have also happened, but I had already said this earlier that they won’t let it happen. IPL should not be damaged, let the World Cup go to hell,” he added.