The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been no stranger to controversy since its inception, and the infamous ‘slapgate’ incident involving Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth is one that still resonates with fans. As the two cricketers, along with Virender Sehwag, came together as pundits for the IPL 2023 season, the incident was revisited in a light-hearted manner, with Harbhajan intervening to defuse any tension.
During a panel discussion on Star Sports, Sreesanth opened up about a pre-match ritual he shared with Harbhajan, where he would hug the latter before every match. He claimed that this gesture would boost his performance on the field. Sehwag then humorously inquired if the ritual began after the ‘Mohali incident’ (slapgate).
Sreesanth: “I want to share that before playing a Test or any other match, I always hugged Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh). My performance always used to be better.”
Sehwag: “When did this hug trend start! Probably after the incident in Mohali.”
At this point, Harbhajan stepped in and said, “Bhul jao yaar” (Forget it man), and the conversation moved on. Sreesanth clarified that the ritual began in 2006 and exchanged a handshake with Harbhajan, who commented: “Kuch toh log kahenge” (People always say something).
Previously, Sreesanth had opened up about his relationship with Harbhajan and the impact of the ‘slapgate’ incident on their bond during an interview on Sports Yaari.
“We have always been friends. That was just a misunderstanding and the media made a big noise out of it. I will just say that Bhajji pa has supported me from the beginning in every way, including recently with commentary tips. He has supported me and helped me a lot, and I am very thankful to him. There is that song, ‘Tere jaisa yaar kaha’, that is my relationship with him,” Sreesanth shared.
The candid conversation between the cricket legends serves as a reminder that friendships can withstand the test of time, and that even the most heated moments can be left in the past.