‘Indian media knows how to behave, Australian media is ruthless’ - Irfan Pathan talks about the ‘Monkeygate’ saga in Sydney
Irfan Pathan, the former all-rounder, went down the memory lane to the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal when India toured Australia in 2007-08. India lost the Sydney Test 122 runs and the ugly occurring only rubbed salt to their wounds. Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Andrew Symonds. The duo was engaged in a verbal altercation and things only got worse from there on.
The Australians were furious and decided to press charges against the Indian spinner. Recalling the moments, Irfan said that the media in Australia could be ruthless and make things tough for any touring side. Pathan, however, said that Anil Kumble, their skipper, got the situation under control.
“Our media behaves well with our guests, but the Australian media is ruthless, they just talk about negatives things on the touring team, they make it feel like we are playing in fire. They got ‘Monkeygate scandal’ to cover at that time,” Irfan told to Sports Tak on Instagram Live.
At least one cameraman will be designated behind Harbhajan: Irfan Pathan
Harbhajan was given a three-match ban, but Team India threatened to pull out of the tour. In the end, the International Cricket Council (ICC) found Harbhajan ‘not guilty’ and the ban was overturned. Irfan said that the situation was bad enough for them to stay inside their hotel rooms.
“At least one cameraman will always be designated behind Harbhajan. But Kumble handled the situation very well, it was one of the hardest times for us, even our manager didn’t let us step outside our hotel just to stay away from media,” he stated.
Irfan mentioned that after the chaos, India were determined to fight in the third Test at the W.A.C.A in Perth. Kumble’s men won the game by 72 runs and made the series 2-1. Pathan became the Player of the Match for scoring 74 runs and picking up five wickets. Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar also chipped in with valuable half-centuries.
“We played a practice game at Canberra and we did team meeting, that was the time, we decided not to go back to India. We also decided to give our best to defeat Australia in Perth. Many thought our morale was down but we did very well. That Test will be remembered forever because of the way we won after the fiasco. Winning MOM award will always stay close to my heart,” he added.