Monkeygate led to Booze, and My Life Dissolved Around Me: Symonds


Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar was the lone witness speaking in favour of Harbhajan as he was probably the closest person to hear what was going on between the mercurial Aussie and his teammate at the other end of the pitch.

Speaking to Mark Howard of ABC News, Symonds revealed how the controversial incident during India's 2007-08 tour of Australia had led him to alcohol abuse and eventually ruined his global cricket career. He would compile an unbeaten 162 in Australia's first innings of 463, before India responded with 532.

Symonds accused Harbhajan Singh of calling him a "monkey" in the Sydney Test of 2007-08 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, a claim that the Indian spinner denied.

The appeal was heard by New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen, who found the racism charge was "not proven".

After the incident, Harbhajan Singh was banned for three games, however, the decision was later overturned when India threatened to pull out from the tour. Symonds felt let down by a lack of support from Cricket Australia, who he says begged him to downgrade the charge of racial vilification against Singh.

"I started to drink heavily as a result of it and my life was starting to dissolve around me. I felt guilty that I'd dragged my mates (teammates) into something I didn't think they deserved to be involved in", Symonds said.

"I felt the pressure and the weight of dragging those mates of mine into the cauldron of this cesspit that should never have got to this sort of point where we felt guilty".

"Me and [Ponting] were up one night before the Adelaide Test until one in the morning talking to our solicitor".

"I wasn't particularly bothered on how [Harbhajan] got punished, that was almost irrelevant to me".

"I'd spoken to Harbhajan the series before in India, he'd called me a monkey before in India", he added.

"We'd had a few drinks and Harbhajan came over to me.

Fuerte explosión en sede de la Fiscalía de Cali
Sin embargo, la primera hipótesis, tanto de la Fiscalía como de Policía, hace referencia a una explosión de evidencias almacenadas .

I went into their dressing room and said, 'Can I speak to Harbhajan for a minute outside please?' So he came outside and I said, 'Look, the name-calling's got to stop or else it's going to get out of hand", Symonds revealed, reported AFP.

As the Australians tried to ruffle up the Indian spinner as he was batting on day three in Sydney a few months later, Harbhajan was ribbing Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, and Symonds was having none of it.

However, Symonds said Harbhajan had thrown their handshake agreement out the window, and from there, the domino effect began.

After which Symonds said to Harbhajan, "Listen here d***head, we're not out here to make friends, you're about to get hurt here.".

"And he [Harbhajan] started going: 'You're nothing but a monkey.' He said it probably two or three times".

Symonds told the Australian broadcasting corporation, "From that moment on, that was my downhill slide".

Symonds also went on to narrate how his cricketing career took a severe hit following the incident and media speculations that led to CA withdrawing his contract and eventually sending him home from World Twenty20 owing to alcohol-related indiscretions.

10 years after the events of the Sydney Test, Symonds has now gone on record to admit that the incident left a deep scar in his heart and also led to his alcohol abuse.

"When I got to Mumbai it was icy, when I walked in there the first time", Symonds said.

"He said, 'I really want to apologise for what I did and what I said, I hope it hasn't harmed you or your family too badly, ' and he broke down".