New Delhi: Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who is known for his on and off-field aggression, has revealed that once Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar thrashed him and Yuvraj Singh in a hotel room. “Shoaib once threatened me he would come to my room and beat me,” said Harbhajan. “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.”
The spinner further revealed that despite both on-field and off-field spats between him and Akhtar, both were relatively close to one another. “Shoaib used to sit with us, eat with us. But maybe since he was too close to us, he used to take us for granted,” he said.
“He challenged me once to hit a six and when I managed to hit one, he was shocked. He then bowled two consecutive bouncers which I evaded. However, after the game, we sat together as if nothing had happened,” he added. ‘Out of favour’ Indian veteran also said that it was always a special moment winning Pakistan-India games, and believes the hype around the high voltage encounter is all generated by the media.
“As a player, I feel great after defeating a big team,” he said. “And in those days, Pakistan was a great team too. They had players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar. “For us that used to be a special game, a special moment. I feel media creates too much hype for Pakistan-India matches,” he added.