The ICC World Cup 2023 is in full swing, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride for cricket fans. Pakistan, known for its passionate cricket supporters, has had its fair share of highs and lows in the tournament. However, this time, it’s not just the usual suspects who are reeling from the heartbreak. It’s our very own ‘Turbanator,’ Harbhajan Singh, who seems to be a tad more devastated than the rest.
Yes, we’re talking about the man whose spin bowling skills have mesmerized cricket lovers worldwide. Harbhajan Singh couldn’t contain his frustration after South Africa managed to edge out Pakistan with a nail-biting 1-wicket win.
In a fiery tweet, Harbhajan Singh unleashed his thoughts on the match, claiming, “Bad umpiring and bad rules cost Pakistan this game…ICC should change this rule…If the ball is hitting the stump that’s out whether the umpire gave out or not out doesn’t matter…otherwise what is the use of technology???”
The controversy unfolded during the match when the South African cricket team found themselves in a tight spot. They were losing wickets rapidly and were reduced to 260/9 from a seemingly comfortable 206/4. With just 11 runs needed for victory and 27 balls remaining, the lower-order batsmen, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj, took the crease.
Then came the turning point during the 45.5 over mark. Pakistani bowler Haris Rauf delivered a ball that struck Shamsi on the pads. The original decision by the on-field umpire was ‘not out.’ Following the rules of cricket, Pakistan opted for an appeal under the Decision Review System (DRS), a technology that has been part of One Day Internationals since 2011.
The DRS verdict returned as ‘Umpire’s call,’ and the appeal was turned down. This decision set the stage for South Africa to secure a thrilling win with just one wicket remaining. As the match concluded, Pakistani fans and even a few ‘Indians’ took to blaming the Decision Review System for Pakistan’s loss.
But it wasn’t Harbhajan’s objection to the DRS that left people scratching their heads; it was his sudden outpouring of support for Pakistan that raised many eyebrows. This caught the attention of several cricket personalities, including Graeme Smith, the former South African captain. He responded with a sharp reminder, “Bhajji, @harbhajan_singh I feel the same as you on umpire’s call, but Rassie van der Dussen and South Africa can have the same feeling.”
Social media commentator “The Skin Doctor” also chimed in with a witty suggestion, saying, “Harbhajan Singh is deeply hurt by Pakistan’s loss. He should consider coming out of retirement and playing for Pakistan, it would address Pakistan’s urgent need for a quality spinner and also allow him to find solace for his sadness. Moreover, this move would benefit humanity, as Harbhajan will donate his match and endorsement fees to the Shahid Afridi Foundation, which works for humanitarian causes.”
Harbhajan Singh is deeply hurt by Pakistan's loss.
He should consider coming out of retirement and playing for Pakistan, it would address Pakistan's urgent need for a quality spinner and also allow him to find solace for his sadness.
Harbhajan Singh’s cricketing legacy is unquestionable, but his recent statements and actions have put him under the spotlight for his apparent support for individuals with openly anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiments. In May 2020, Harbhajan and Yuvraj Singh shared a video of Shahid Afridi’s attempt to raise funds for COVID-19 victims. However, after Afridi delivered a fiery speech against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, both Harbhajan and Yuvraj had to backtrack on their statements.
Moreover, on the 37th anniversary of ‘Operation Blue Star,’ Harbhajan Singh shared an Instagram story in which he referred to Khalistani separatist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a ‘martyr’ instead of ‘militant.’ This action ignited a firestorm of criticism and trolling. Harbhajan later claimed it was a ‘WhatsApp forward’ and expressed his ignorance about the content.
In the world of cricket, where sportsmanship and national pride often take center stage, Harbhajan Singh’s recent actions and statements have left many puzzled. Harbhajan Singh cricketing achievements remain a cherished part of Indian cricket history, but his foray into controversial territories is a chapter that has raised questions and eyebrows.
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