RIP Andrew Symonds: Harbhajan Singh pays homage as fans recall infamous Monkeygate scandal
Andrew Symonds has tragically passed away in a car accident. Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh has paid homage to him, while fans recall their infamous Monkeygate scandal.
Former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has bid adieu to the world in a wretched manner. On Saturday night, he was involved in a lethal car crash in Queensland that claimed his life as he succumbed to the severe injuries he suffered. As a result, the entire cricketing world is mourning his pitiful demise on Sunday. Even the Indian cricketers have paid their tributes, including former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The Australian had a rich history with the Indian on the wrong note. Both were involved in the infamous Monkeygate scandal in 2008. Fans were quick to recall the incident following Bhajji's hymn.
Taking to his Twitter account, Harbhajan wrote, "Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul 🙏 #RIPSymonds". While fans joined him in playing the commendation, many recalled how the Monkeygate scandal highlighted their respective careers.
The incident happened in 2003 during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy being played in Australia. During the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Harbhajan and Symonds were involved in a verbal spat where the former seemingly said something offensive to the latter. Mistaking it for being racist, the Australian complained to the on-field umpires as they confronted the Indian.
Eventually, the match referee took note of it. At the same time, after India lost the Test on a controversial note due to poor umpiring, the International Cricket Council (ICC) called for a formal hearing regarding the Harbhajan-Symonds issue, as it was alleged that the Indian referred to the Australian as a monkey.
However, Harbhajan insisted that he was misunderstood by Symonds, as he never racially abused him but just taunted him in some other form. Nonetheless, the ICC fined him 100% of his match fees and was banned for the subsequent Perth Test, which India won emphatically. Meanwhile, the Australian drew heavy criticisms from the Indian fans, followed by severe backlash over the Indian's ban. Nevertheless, all was well as time gradually passed, with both playing for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2011.