Mohali:Harbhajan Singh has developed a habit of staying in the news for the wrong reasons and Friday night's incident in Mohali is just the latest example of it.
Just three and a half months ago, the bowler hit the headlines on allegations of racial abuse which culminated two months later in name calling with a few Australian players and ultimately a media gag.
And now it's an incident of him slapping his India team-mate.
Harbhajan Singh looked totally out of it after his team lost to Kings XI Punjab on Friday night. But as usual, he was actually in the thick of things. On this occasion, it was a slap followed by an apology but that's only the latest in an already substantial list of misdemeanors that haven't quite endeared him to the authorities.
Harbhajan in Sydney Test controversy
This was Harbhajan in perhaps the most famous controversy of his career. Charged with racially abusing Andrew Symonds, Bhajji was initially handed a three Test ban and then cleared of all charges. In between and till two months later, the bowler and his Australian adversaries called each other names and Harbhajan was accused of spitting and gesturing at the crowds. The BCCI board stood by him, but, in private, were apparently quite peeved with his behavior.
He's certainly given them plenty of reason to be peeved and the media plenty of fodder. Right from the time in 1998 when he was fined for abusing Ricky Ponting to 2000 when he was expelled from the National Cricket Academy on disciplinary grounds. Then there was the charge of bad behavior in South Africa in 2001. He's been reported twice for chucking and been pulled up several times for publicly commenting at inappropriate times.
And now, it's 'The Slap'. Before Friday night, Harbhajan vs Symonds and Harbhajan vs Hayden were the most anticipated showdowns for non-cricketing reasons. Now it seems, it's not just the Australians who can get under Bhajji's skin.