Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh Sunday hit back at former Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds after the latter claimed that Harbhajan “broke down crying” three years after the “monkeygate” incident when they were playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
“WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN ??? BROKE DOWN ???? WHAT FOR ???,” Harbhajan wrote in a tweet.
WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN ??? BROKE DOWN ???? WHAT FOR ??? Harbhajan broke down when apologising for 'monkeygate' - Symondshttps://t.co/eQFeETVChy— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 16, 2018
“I thought he was a very good cricketer but Symonds has turned out to be a good fiction writer - he sold a story then (2008) and he is ‘selling a story’ now (2018). Mate, the world has come of age in these 10 years and it’s time you also grew up,” Harbhajan continued in a subsequent tweet.
I thought he was a very good cricketer but Symonds has turned out to be a good fiction writer - he sold a story then (2008) and he is ‘selling a story’ now (2018). Mate, the world has come of age in these 10 years and it’s time you also grew up— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 16, 2018
Singh, who at time denied any wrongdoing, was charged with racial abuse and suspended for three matches. But the ban was overturned when India threatened to quit the tour in what was an all-time low in India-Australia cricket relations.
"We go to a very wealthy man's place for a barbecue, drinks and dinner one night and the whole team's there and he had guests there, and Harbhajan said 'mate, can I speak to you for a minute out in the garden out the front'," Symonds had told Fox Sports.
"He goes, 'look, I've got to say sorry to you for what I did to you in Sydney. I apologise, I hope I didn't cause you, your family, your friends too much harm and I really apologise for what I said, I shouldn't have said it'.
"And he actually broke down crying, and I could just see that was a huge weight off his shoulders, he had to get rid of it. We shook hands and I gave him a hug and said: 'Mate, it's all good. It's dealt with'."
Symonds, who was born in England with one of his parents of West Indian background, has previously recounted how his life went downhill after the incident.
He started drinking heavily and in June 2009 his Cricket Australia contract was withdrawn after he was sent home from the World Twenty20 following the latest in a series of alcohol-related indiscretions.
"I suppose this would be the moment where my whole persona to cricket changed," Symonds, who is commentating on India's current tour of Australia, said of "monkeygate".
"I didn't realise how powerful one player, one incident, how much money was at stake and the ramifications."