Australia’s legendary all-rounder Andrew Symonds has died in a car accident. He was only 46 years old. He represented Australia in 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 T20 Internationals. Symonds was one such player from Australia who used to give himself to win his team on the field. This is the reason why he has been in the limelight because of controversies more than his game.
One such controversy was that of Monkey Gate, due to which there was a ruckus in the cricket world. This dispute was not with anyone else but with India’s legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh. Although with the passage of time both the players blurred that incident, but what happened on that day on the field cannot be forgotten so easily.
What was the Monkey Gate controversy?
This incident is from the year 2007-2008 when the Indian team went on a tour of Australia. A four-Test series was to be played between India and Australia. Australia won the first test match of the series. The second Test match began on 6 January 2008 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The match being played between the two teams had reached a very tense situation.
During this, there was an argument between Harbhajan Singh and Symonds, who was batting at the crease. There are frequent fights between the players on the field but no one knew that the argument between Harbhajan and Symonds would turn into a brawl. Symonds made a big allegation on Harbhajan saying that he has made racist remarks on him.
Symonds believed that Harbhajan called him a monkey. Let us tell you that in Australia, calling someone a monkey is considered a racist comment. The incident was reported to the match referee and in return Harbhajan Singh was banned for three Tests.
Indian team on target of Australian media
After this incident, the Indian team came under the target of almost all the newspapers and magazines of Australia. In the Australian media, many types of blasphemous things were being published against Harbhajan Singh. Meanwhile, disappointed with the decision of the match referee, the BCCI and the senior players of the team made up their mind to cancel the tour midway. The matter had become very heated.
Meanwhile, the issue reached the Sydney Court. There was no evidence of racist remarks against Harbhajan Singh, due to which his three-match ban was lifted and the remaining matches of the series were also played. Since then this dispute is known as Monkey Gate.
Sachin has also mentioned this controversy in his autobiography.
India’s great cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had seen this incident closely. This is the reason why he has written extensively on the Monkey Gate controversy in his autobiography. He told in his autobiography that Nokjhonk was first started by the Australian camp. After that Harbhajan also replied to him.
Sachin writes that, when he was batting with him during the Sydney Test, a good partnership was being formed with Harbhajan. During this, the Australian players were trying to break our pair by any means. Especially Symonds was trying to provoke Harbhajan. Meanwhile I explained to Harbhajan that he is trying to provoke you but you have to remain calm.
The match was in a tense state. We were ahead of Australia’s score. Meanwhile, Harbhajan also completed his 50 runs. Seeing this made Symonds even more annoyed. Every single run was important for us at this point of the match. Meanwhile, Harbhajan jokingly patted the bowling Brett Lee on the back, seeing that Symonds, who was fielding, could not stop and he started abusing Harbhajan. Since then this dispute escalated and it was called Monkey Gate.