Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has clarified about Harbhajan’s claim that he bashed up the Indian spinner and Yuvraj Singh in a hotel room in Pakistan, saying it did happen, but in jest. Harbhajan had earlier said that Akhtar beat up him and Yuvraj in a friendly fight in 2004.
On the Indian TV show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’,on Sunday, Harbhajan spoke about the incident and said that Shoaib Akhtar beat them up, and he could not be stopped. “Shoaib once threatened me he would come to my room and beat me. I told him come, let’s see who beats whom. I was really scared. He is a great hulk. He once bashed me and Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) inside a room. Since he was heavy, it was difficult to catch him,” Harbhajan said in the show.
Harbhajan also went on to describe the spat between Akhtar and him during the 2010 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
“Shoaib abused me a lot. He used to sit with us, ate with us. Since he was too close to us, maybe he used to take us for granted. He challenged me once to hit a six and when I hit a six, he was shocked. He then bowled two consecutive bouncers which I evaded. He then abused me and I replied back. But after the game, we sat together as if nothing happened,” he said.
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Shoaib Akhtar clarified about the ‘bashing up’ incident, saying it was nothing serious.
“I think he has made a big deal of it. Yes, it did happen during 2004 when we were playing a Test in Rawalpindi. But it was nothing serious and all fun,” he said.
“Basically we were horsing around and doing some arm-wrestling and that is all but no Bhajji and Yuvi are my younger brothers no question of beating them up,” he added.
“They got along well with me and used to come to my room and have dinner together. Yuvi wanted to go for sightseeing in Islamabad. We have been good friends so how can I beat them,” PTI reported him as saying.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s captain during the series, confirmed that something of that sort had happened. “But Shoaib was always very muscular and strong and even hugging him or shaking hands with him could be painful for other players,” he added.