Actually, he (Sreesanth) did a 'nautanki' (drama). It was my fault that I did that (slapping) on the ground. I have admitted in all my interviews that I committed this mistake in my life—Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh, recalling the slap he planted on former Kings XI paceman S. Sreesanth after an IPL match in 2008, has said that the cricketer-turned-politician was a bit dramatic in his response to the controversial incident.
Harbhajan, then the captain of the Mumbai Indians side, slapped Sreesanth when he said something to the spinner. Provoked, Harbhajan slapped Sreesanth, and the paceman was seen crying bitterly on the ground.
“Actually, he (Sreesanth) did a 'nautanki' (drama). It was my fault that I did that (slapping) on the ground. I have admitted in all my interviews that I committed this mistake in my life,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying in 'Aap ki Adalat' programme to be aired soon.
"I was guilty in the Sreesanth episode, and I am ashamed even today, but the way he wept, as if I slapped him very hard. But anyhow that was something obviously which everybody will remember that I made a mistake. I am again saying, I'm sorry.”
Talking about the current Indian side, Harbhajan said Test captain Virat Kohli's aggressive attitude on the field would take the team forward to achieve difficult heights.
"It's good to see the way Virat conducts himself. I feel this is a brilliant way to take forward Indian cricket. Going to play with right body language, fighting it out for India with a zeal to get the right result, we need such a spirit which Virat has, whether it's his own or he may have taken it from me. I feel it's a great sign for Indian cricket, to take India to difficult heights," he said.
"In my opinion today India faces challenge from three big teams -- South Africa, Australia and England. I feel as far as other teams are concerned, we can win seven out of 10 matches against them."
Asked how he felt playing against Pakistan, Harbhajan said, "As a player I feel great after defeating a big team. In those days the Pakistan team was great, it had players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar. For us that used to be a special game, a special moment. I feel media creates too much hype for India-Pakistan matches."
Harbhajan said he would be writing his autobiography soon and any producer was welcome to make a biopic based on his book.
Harbhajan also recounted an incident in which he, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan once tried to make fun with Sachin Tendulkar and threw him into a jacuzzi.
"Sachin Tendulkar Paaji has a great sense of humour. His oneliners are great, which normally one never hears."
On the new national coach Anil Kumble, Harbhajan said: "Anil bhai is a man I respect a lot. I played with him for many years. I learnt one thing from him—'In life don't ever give up'. He was a cricketer with a serious bent of mind. He knows my mischievous nature. I don't think he had any problems with me ever."