Dhoni, Harbhajan criticised for skipping Padma awards

April 15th, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and bowler Harbhajan Singh’s absence from the Padma awards ceremony has sparked a controversy.
Both Dhoni and Harbhajan, who were to receive the Padma Shri awards by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Tuesday, skipped the ceremony.

Media reports claimed that both star players were busy shooting for commercials. Some reports said that Harbhajan was present in the national capital finishing his brand engagements before leaving for the Indian Premier League in South Africa.

Harbhajan, however, insisted that he had to be at home in Jalandhar to attend to some pressing family problem.

“The allegation that I was here and shooting for an ad instead of attending the Padma award ceremony is completely baseless. If it is proved that I was in Delhi, then I will quit playing cricket,” said a miffed Harbhajan, who was here Wednesday for a promotional event.

“Nobody would want to skip when you receive such prestigious award. I felt bad for missing it but I missed it due to some family problem. I informed the authorities,” he said.

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