Bhajji Revs Up Controversy Again, this Time With Hummer

Jaideep Sarin/IANS

Chandigarh, Sep 3: Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has probably created more hullabaloo on and off the field than any other celebrity cricketer in India, and this time controversy has come riding on the back of his new Rs.1 crore Hummer SUV.

Bhajji - as he is popularly known - has been found on the wrong side of the law for driving his Hummer on Chandigarh's roads without a number plate. His vehicle, imported from Britain last month, was Tuesday slapped with a penalty of Rs.3,000 for violation of the Motor Vehicles Act. He was forced to put up a registration plate, with a temporary Delhi number, on the SUV.

In April this year, he and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni deliberately gave a miss to the Padma national awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan after they were named this year for the prestigious Padma Shri honour. Both were reportedly busy with commercial shoots and not playing cricket for the country when the awards function took place in April.

Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill was livid and even said the duo needed to learn from legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on how to treat such national honours.

From letting his hair down on the ramp and being featured in an advertisement for liquor - both prohibited by his religion - to having on and off field spats with Australians Andrew Symonds and Mathew Hayden; slapping fellow cricketer S. Sreesanth in full public view and doing a Ravana dance act on a TV dance show last year that got Hindu and Sikh organisations gunning for his blood - Bhajji has done it all.

Even the Sikh clergy was aghast with Bhajji because he posed as a Hindu mythological character and applied Hindu symbols on his forehead. In Hindu mythology, Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, was abducted by demon king Ravana to force her to marry him. Radical Hindu organisations objected to the dance number saying it mocked their gods.

Bhajji, 29, comes from a humble Sikh family in Punjab's Jalandhar city but is known for his aggressive nature on field, putting him in the class of most badly behaved cricketers.

His mother and one of his sisters live in a small house in Jalandhar's congested Daulatpuri locality. This sister - he has four other married ones - works in a private bank in Jalandhar and uses a two-wheeler to commute between work and home. Whenever in Jalandhar, Bhajji lives with them.

But the cricketer is now building a lavish house for his family in Jalandhar's New Baradari area. Two years ago, Bhajji bought a palatial 1,800-square yards bungalow in Chandigarh's upscale Sector 9. The property is worth Rs.150 million.

Bhajji had landed himself in trouble in April last year after his 'Slapgate' controversy in which he slapped fast bowler and fellow Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth after losing an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Mohali.

The incident almost put a stop on his playing career. The slap cost Bhajji a whopping Rs.34 million as he was dumped from IPL and faced a limited ban from playing.

Bhajji's infamous "monkey" run-in with equally temperamental Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds almost saw India's tour to Australia being abandoned in 2007.

The bowler also had an on and off-field spat with Australian opener Mathew Hayden who, of course, bit more than he could chew when he called the Bhajji "an obnoxious weed".

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) at Mohali, near here, had set up a probe against Bhajji in 2005 after he publicly went against then Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell, saying the coach was intimidating players in the team.

The bowler was trying to defend then Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly but ended up being reprimanded by the PCA.

Bhajji was also partner in a hair-cutting salon here a few years ago.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Bhajji Revs Up Controversy Again, this Time With Hummer

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.