‘Monkeygate’ foes Symonds and Bhajji now Mumbai Indians dressing room IPL mates

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MELBOURNE - Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds and Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who became arch-enemies following the infamous Monkeygate scandal during the 2008 Test series Down Under, will share the Mumbai Indians’ dressing room during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Symonds was bought by the IPL franchise for 850,000 dollars during the first round of bidding in an action held in Bangalore on Saturday.

Harbhajan had already been re-signed after playing with them for the first three years of the competition.

Harbhajan and the Australian all-rounder were the key protagonists in the Monkeygate affair, which threatened to fracture relationships between India and Australia, the Courier Mail reports.

It was that alleged Harbhajan had called Symonds a “monkey” in the Sydney Test held in January 2008.

Match referee Mike Procter, following an Australian complaint, had banned Harbhajan for three Tests under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

The ban faced severe Indian protests and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sharad Pawar’s threat of India pulling out of the tour.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) later cleared the off-spinner of racial abuse. The three-Test ban was lifted, but he was fined 50 per cent of his match fee. (ANI)

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