Over 10 years after the infamous Indian Premier League (IPL) 'slap-gate' controversy, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has once again conveyed his apologies to Sreesanth for having raised his hand on him, and has even gone on to call his ex-national teammate as his 'brother'.
During the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008, Bhajji and Sreesanth went face to face during Mumbai Indians' fixture against Kings XI Punjab. The match was won by Sreesanth's Kings XI, but what followed left the cricketing world in shock.
It was reported that Sreesanth celebrated his side's victory with an animated celebration, which irked Bhajji, who in-turn slapped the fast-bowler. The incident left Sreesanth in tears, and also resulted in Harbhajan getting banned for the remainder of the season. But now, more than a decade after the controversy, Bhajji has once again apologised for his actions.
"Whatever happened with Sreesanth.. me and him on the field.. lot of people talk about that incident now," Harbhajan told Behindwoods Air. "If I have to go back and rectify something in my life, I would correct that. I shouldn't have done that. That was a mistake and I am sorry about that. It shouldn't have happened. Sreesanth is a top guy and he had so much of skill. My best wishes to Sreesanth and his wife and to their children. No matter what people say, I am still your brother," the off-spinner was quoted by Behindwoods Air.
The whole saga, which had seemed to calm down after Harbhajan's apologies on a number of occasions, came to light once again during Sreesanth's stint at the Big Boss house. In one of the episodes, the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winner mentioned that Bhajji had intended to not just slap, but also hit him.
Inside the Big Boss house, a show in which he was participating, the pacer opened about the whole incident, and stated that Harbhajan had actually hit him with force, and not just slapped.