Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Sreesanth and Yusuf Pathan were present in a program on Star Sports in celebration of the 12th anniversary of Team India’s 2011 ODI World Cup win. All four players were part of the winning squad led by MS Dhoni.
Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag played all the matches in the tournament while Yusuf Pathan was part of the team in the group stage matches, while Sreesanth played the first match and the final against Sri Lanka.
During the conversation, the talk moved to Sreesanth talking about his friendship with Harbhajan Singh and revealed he always hugged the spinner before heading to play a match. He even claimed the hugs enhanced his performances.
However, Virender Sehwag jokingly reminded Sreesanth about the infamous slap gate incident from the inaugural IPL 2008 when the fast bowler was allegedly slapped by Harbhajan Singh.
The episode involving Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth, which took place in the inaugural edition back in 2008, still remains as one of the most controversial moments in the history of the IPL.
During the first IPL edition, Sreesanth represented Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) and Harbhajan played for Mumbai Indians. Sreesanth was then spotted crying on the field and it was alleged that Harbhajan had slapped the pacer.
The off-spinner was suspended from the rest of the tournament as a result. However, both played for India numerous times after that incident and since then have buried the hatchet.
As Sreesanth talked about his friendship with Harbhajan Singh, Sehwag was quick to add his inputs as he interrupted Sreesanth and asked if the hugs were post the ‘Slapgate’ row, making both Harbhajan and the pacer awkward.
Sreesanth: “I want to share that before playing a Test or any other match, I always hugged Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh). My performace always used to be better.”
Sehwag: “When did this hug trend start! Probably after the incident in Mohali.”
Harbhajan then quickly added: “Bhul jao yaar” (Forget it man).”
Sreesanth also said that it started back in 2006, following which he exchanged a handshake with Harbhajan, who then said: “Kuch toh log kahenge” (People always say something).
Here is the video: