Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has spoken out about the ‘Monkeygate’ controversy, claiming that he was informed he had testicles on his head and that it was painful for him to hear such an insult to his faith.
Harbhajan Singh, who had a hugely successful international career, was embroiled in the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ issue during India’s 2007-08 tour to Australia.
When Australia captain Ricky Ponting protested to the on-field umpires that Harbhajan had called Andrew Symonds a “monkey,” the incident was submitted to the match referee, and Harbhajan was found guilty and suspended for three games.
The Indian squad and management were dissatisfied with the decision because they claimed Harbhajan had used the Hindi word ‘Teri maa ki,’ which Australians mistook for a monkey.
The spinner’s racism complaint was later withdrawn.He only had to pay a fine equivalent to half of his match money, and his penalty was minimized.
Harbhajan stated on ‘Backstage with Boria’ that he was concerned by the occurrence.
"They said I have testicles on my head" says @harbhajan_singh opening up on #Monkygate What was he going through mentally? How did he deal with it all? #BackstageWithBoria #Promo pic.twitter.com/8FAE7J5meF
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 29, 2022
“I was definitely annoyed and had no idea what was going on.” Why was there so much of… for something that hadn’t happened. For something I hadn’t stated, they had six or seven witnesses. Despite the fact that no one had heard it, it was exaggerated.”
Harbhajan Singh said, “You have testicles on your head,” he was told on the ground, but he didn’t say anything since he didn’t want to stir up further trouble.
“The comments spoken to me (when I was) on the ground, ‘you have testicles on your head,’ hearing such an insult to my faith was the most painful thing for me.” I didn’t say anything since doing so would have sparked much more controversy.”
During that difficult moment, only I knew how I spent my time alone in my room – HarbhajanSingh
Harbhajan Singh went on to say that he had a lot of support from the Indian team management during the event, and that he tried to avoid talking to the players and management since he didn’t want to stress others with what he was going through.
“During that difficult moment, only I knew how I spent my time alone in my room.”I didn’t make many attempts to talk to the players or the management. Regardless, they stood at my side the entire time. I didn’t want anyone else to have to go through what I was. I had to cope with it in whichever manner I could, and I’m delighted I was able to play and win a couple games for India in Australia.”