Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has downplayed Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh’s claim that he had beaten the 0ff-spinner along with Indian middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh.
“I think he has exaggerated the whole story. Yes, it did happen during 2004 when we were playing a Test in Rawalpindi. But it was nothing serious and all fun,” Akhtar clarified in a Television show.
“Basically, we were horsing around and doing some arm wrestling and that is all, but Bhajji and Yuvi are my younger brothers and there is no question of beating them up,” Akhtar said.
The pacer, who represented Pakistan in 46 Tests and 163 ODIs, claimed that they were rivals only on the field and off the field they were great friends.
“They gelled with me well and used to come to my room and have dinner together. Yuvraj wanted to go for sightseeing in Islamabad. We have been good friends so how can I beat them,” he said.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was Pakistan’s captain in the Test confirmed that such an incident had taken place in the hotel room. “But Shoaib was always very muscular and strong and even hugging him or shaking hands with him could be painful for other players,” Inzamam said.
Harbhajan Singh in an interview with television show “Aap ki Adalat” had claimed that Akhtar had beaten him up along with Yuvraj.
“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,” the off-spinner revealed.