Former India allrounder Yuvraj Singh recalled a funny incident involving his former teammate, Harbhajan Singh which happened during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. India witnessed a forgettable outing in the global event against West Indies as they failed to get past the group stage. Under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, the Indian team faced immense criticism, even the players had to endure brickbats from the fans for such an embarrassing performance.
Recalling an incident during a recent chat on the podcast, “22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur”, that occurred during the 2007 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh said that he was shocked when India failed to qualify for the next stage.
Yuvraj Singh recalled, “I remember me and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) were almost hiding after the 50-over World Cup because we didn’t qualify. We were like ‘Punjab nahi jaana yaar, chittar khaane hain’ (Don’t want to go back home to Punjab, we will get a beating). Remember hiding in England and after a while, we went back home. I remember wearing a T-shirt which said ‘Play Hard or Go Home’ and I was wearing it on the flight. Bhajji asked me to change it because we are going home! ‘People will attack you if anyone saw you wearing this t-shirt,’ he said.”
After India had to come back home from the global event, players such as MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Dravid’s families were not sparred as angry fans were seen attacking their home with stones and burnt their effigies. The former all-rounder explained how the Harbhajan’s helped him while returning home.
Yuvraj Singh explained, “It made complete sense! Referring to my t-shirt he said ‘What Play Hard, you aren’t doing that? You are the one Going Home!’. I agreed with him and changed my t-shirt. We then went back to India secretly. It was a tough time, we were getting a lot of flak. But couldn’t do anything about it.”
Further, when Yuvraj Singh was asked who were the funniest cricketers he played with, he had no destination in taking the names of Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh. Yuvraj also went as far as saying that Nehra would be have been the highest-paid comedian after Jim Carrey if he was not shy in front of the camera.