S Sreesanth recently opened up about the Slapgate controversy that involved him and former Indian cricket team off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh, saying that the pacer 'cried and begged' to the authorities to not penalise Harbhajan.
The incident took place in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008 after the match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. After emerging victorious, KXIP's Sreesanth tried to pour salt on Harbhajan's wounds by saying, "Punjab Bombay ko haraayenge, Punjab Bombay ko haraaynge” upon which the latter overreacted and slapped Sreesanth.
In a recent interview, Sreesanth revealed that he thoroughly insisted the then commissioner, Sudhindra Nanavati, to not punish Harbhajan after the incident took place.
“And even in front of Nanavati sir, they have the video clipping also if not, where I’m literally crying and begging and telling him not to ban or do anything with Bhajji paa, we are going to play together. I don’t want anything to be taken away from Bhajji paa because he is a match-winner, he has taken hat-tricks for India. I’ve just started playing and I want to win matches with Bhajji paa because I consider him as my elder brother," he said.
Sreesanth reveals the role Sachin Tendulkar played in Slapgate
Sreesanth also touched upon how Sachin Tendulkar, former Mumbai Indians skipper, assisted in resolving the matter and eliminating the bitterness between Sreesanth and Harbhajan.
“It was all sorted and thanks to Sachin paaji (Sachin Tendulkar), you guys play in the same team, I said absolutely fine, I’ll go and meet him. We met and had dinner on the same night but the media took it to the next level," Sreesanth elaborated.
During the interview, Sreesanth also selected his India XI for the upcoming T20 World Cup later this year and included Harbhajan in it. He asserted the fact that his relations with Harbhajan have improved over the years and he considers him as his "elder brother" and a legend of Indian Cricket.
“But I’m absolutely fine with Bhajji paa….he’s changed a lot, I’ve….in public also he has said ‘Sree tu kahi bhi ho yaar, maaf karde’….he was always my elder brother, maybe at that point of time it was different but he will always be a legend,” he concluded.