Indian and Pakistani players might be the fiercest of rivals on the field but off the field, they are great friends.The players from either side of the border have admitted in the past that the on-field rivalry takes the back seat once the match gets over.
Attending the television show, Aap Ki Adalat, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh narrated a very interesting story. The Turbanator claimed that former Pakistani fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar had beaten him along with his teammate Yuvraj Singh.
Talking to show host Rajat Sharma, Harbhajan said: “Shoaib once threatened me that he’d barge my room to hit me. I told him ‘we will see who hits who’. Nonetheless, I was scared because of his bulky physique. Once, he hit Yuvraj and me. Because of his heavy build, it was difficult to overpower him.”
Harbhajan said that despite having an occasional spat with Akhtar they were great friends off the field.
“Shoaib has spent a lot of time with us. I think that’s why he doesn’t take us seriously. He has insulted us a lot but then, he is really close to us and we all sit together,” said Singh, who has represented India in 103 Tests and 236 ODIs.
Recalling another incident, the star spinner revealed that the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ once challenged him to hit him for a six and after Bhajji passed the challenge, Akhtar started throwing sledges at him.
“When I replied with a six, he was left standing. He followed up with two successive bouncers. Then he sledged me, to which I responded. But after the game we sat together and nothing serious happened.”
The spinner also talked on other controversies like the monkey-gate scandal when he was accused of calling Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds a monkey and the infamous incident when he slapped former Indian bowler S Sreesanth.