Gilchrist has lost our respect: Harbhajan

Furious with Adam Gilchrist for questioning Sachin Tendulkar's integrity, Harbhajan Singh said the retired Australian has lost his respect.

updated: October 25, 2008 06:49 IST
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Furious with Adam Gilchrist for questioning Sachin Tendulkar's integrity in the monkey-gate scandal, star Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said the retired Australian has lost his respect.

"He should not be talking about Sachin. It is all rubbish," an angry Harbhajan said.

"We don't respect him," the feisty off-spinner was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

Gilchrist, in his soon-to-be-published autobiography, accused Tendulkar of providing different versions of the incident before the Match Referee and Appeal Commissioner.

Aghast at Gilchrist's allegation against Tendulkar, Harbhajan hit back at the Australian and said, "He pretends to be a saint and people say he walks when he nicks, but why did he appeal when batsmen don't nick?

"He always changes his mind according to a situation. If Australia is close to a victory, he is always going up (to appeal) whether it is out or not out. We don't need him to say these things just because he is retired."

Harbhajan was not willing to recall the details of the racism row featuring him and Andrew Symonds during India's tour of Australia earlier this year and said nobody should question the integrity of someone of Tendulkar's stature.

"I don't want to talk about that episode again and again. It is over," Harbhajan said.

"If you talk to any guy who plays or follows cricket about Sachin Tendulkar, they will talk about the respect he commands. These guys can't come close to him. I am really shocked," said the off-spinner, considered very close to Tendulkar.

Harbhajan, however, was happy with the current India-Australia Test series going without any major controversy and hoped the last two Tests would also be played in the same spirit.

"We are very focused on cricket and on the next Test in Delhi. We know Australia will come back very strong. It has been a great series so far," Harbhajan said.

"There have been no dramas in the first two Tests. I hope the next two will be playing in the gentleman's spirit," added the spinner.

Former India coach John Wright was equally stunned by Gilchrist's comments and said, "During my time with the team, impeccable would be a word that comes to mind. You can talk about sportsmanship on the field but I saw the pressure of being Sachin Tendulkar in India and he had time for everyone.

"In the heat of battle, I have always thought that what happens on the field stays on the field. That seems to have changed a bit. I know Australia plays the game very hard and I hope India has gained a harder competitive edge from that. I think they have, and we are seeing the results in this series," Wright said.