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Published on: Apr 11, 2011
When Andrew Symonds was picked up by Mumbai Indians during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Four players' auction in January, almost instantaneously there was talk about sparks flying in a dressing room that the Queenslander would have to share with his nemesis the man who most Australians, including Symonds, claim curtailed his international career.
In an interview last year, Symonds revealed the incidents that followed Monkeygate had sent him into a depressive state, and even propelled him to start drinking a bit more.
Symonds said that Harbhajan Singh 'was lucky' to escape the controversy without a match ban. Later that year, Harbhajan told Mid Day in a freewheeling chat that he wanted to bury the hatchet with Symonds, and 'was hurt' when he read that Symonds had blamed him for ending his international career.
The feisty off-spinner has held out the olive branch to Symonds, and it is learnt that the two have been getting along really well in the Mumbai Indians dressing room.
Mid Day caught up with Harbhajan soon after his side's eight-wicket victory against Delhi Daredevils here at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. Harbhajan, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Munaf Patel the four Indian players who were part of the World Cup winning XI were invited by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a dinner soon after the game.
On sharing the dressing room with Andrew Symonds, the turbanator said,
"Honestly, it feels great. We are playing for one team. Obviously, it's fantastic to have him in the side.
"He's a genuine match-winner. He has proved that over the years with Australia, probably one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball. I am sure with his capability and power-hitting, he will be able to win us a lot of games."
Harbhajan further added, "I am looking forward to seeing some firecrackers from his bat this season. Also, I am looking forward to spending time with him and getting to know him a lot better. I will surely celebrate when he hits a 50 or a hundred. We both can do really well for Mumbai. Hopefully, we will lift the IPL trophy together."