Harbhajan’s hometown erupts into celebrations

March 4th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Jalandhar, March 4 (IANS) The home city of Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh erupted in joy, with people bursting crackers and dancing the ‘bhangra’ to the beat of drums after the Indian team’s thrilling win over Australia in the Commonwealth tri-series tournament in Sydney. Harbhajan - popularly called Bhajji - was the centre of attraction during the tour over allegations of racism and on- and off-field controversies between India and Australia during the series.

Defending her son, Harbhajan’s mother Avtar Kaur said the Australians feared his bowling and raked up one controversy after another to put pressure on him.

“They tried to create mental pressure on him and the Indian team through these controversies, but failed. He has come out clean. He is not of the nature to hurt anyone. He always keeps smiling and makes others laugh too,” Kaur said.

Harbhajan had got the title of ‘Turbanator’ from the Australian media a few years ago after he tormented top Australian players with his accurate bowling.

People in this city, known more for its sports goods manufacturing and exporting units, celebrated India’s victory with enthusiasm, more so because Harbhajan had an important role in the victory.

Friends of Harbhajan and hundreds of people gathered outside his house here to celebrate India’s victory. They danced, burst crackers and distributed sweets.

“This victory is a slap on the face of the arrogant Australians. They tried every trick - even pushing down Sachin Tendulkar without being sorry for it - to get victory but failed. I think the Australian cricketers don’t know how to face defeat gracefully. They have been taught a good lesson by India,” said Mohit Abrol, a cricket fan, savouring sweets outside the spinner’s home.

Even in the second final played at Brisbane Tuesday, Harbhajan was instrumental in claiming the wickets of Mathew Hayden (run out) and Andrew Symonds (leg-before wicket) - both of whom had had run-ins with the spinner. In the first final in Sydney Sunday, he bagged the wickets of both these batsmen.

“Bhajji’s stand has been vindicated by the Indian performance. The Indian players should reply on field. That is the best treatment for the egoistic Australians,” said Rajpal Singh.

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