Harbhajan Singh has demanded an apology from Matthew Hayden over his remarks on an Australian radio show. Hayden reportedly called the Indian off-spinner an “obnoxious weed”. Harbhajan has insisted that the remark has racial overtones to it, and that he is sure Hayden wants to insult his long hair.
Singh, who is no stranger to controversies, was recently involved in another racism row, only that time it was as an alleged offender. Last year, he had appeared in a fashion show without his turban, an action which had caused a lot of anger in the Sikh community. Harbhajan insists that Hayden “was attacking my Sikh roots, and finds my long hair abonoxious”.
When our reporter brought to his notice Andrew Symond’s long hair, which Hayden seems to have no problem with, Harbhajan said that he has been instructed not to say a single word about Andrew Symond’s without clearance from BCCI’s legal counsel.
“Woh to mujhe uski taraf dekhne se bhi mana kar rahe hai” (they’re even forbidding me from looking at him), he added.
However he remained adamant, that this was an attack on all Sikh community, not just himself. He said that lot of white countries see Sikh immigrants as a weed. And it is this white supremacist attitude that is the reason behind Hayden’s latest attack.
Since this was an off the field exchange, he said, he does not plan to involve ICC in this, however he said, he is considering legal action.
When asked, if he thinks there can be another reason for the remarks, he said, “Oh sure. Maybe he’s just jealous of my long hair”.
The Australian ace batsman has refused to comment and dismissed the charges as juvenile.
“I didn’t even know he has long hair under the turban. I always thought it’s all empty there beneath it”.
Although Australian cricketers have extended support to their teammate, in private, they’re expressing displeasure over the remarks. “Matthew is close to retirement, so he is getting senile”, said a teammate, on the condition of anonymity. “God knows we cannot afford another controversy at this time”. It’s unclear if by “this time” he meant the upcoming finals, or the upcoming IPL season.