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Sourav Ganguly revisits Harbhajan Singh & Yousuf Youhana’s 2003 World Cup fight

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been running all over the news ever since his autobiography, A Century Is Not Enough, was released. The most recent insight that made it’s way out of Ganguly’s book is the incident during the 2003 World Cup, which had witnessed a fight between India spinner Harbhajan Singh and former Pakistan batsman Yousuf Youhana, which had required the intervention of team officials.

The backdrop of the 2003 World Cup, as described by Sourav Ganguly

Coming into the heated clash of the 2003 World Cup, India was in a comfortable position with four wins in give matches, while Pakistan were stumbling a bit with two wins in four matches. While India and Pakistan matches are usually heated, the rivalry between the nations is limited to the cricket ground.

However, Sourav Ganguly revealed in his autobiography, how things took a turn for the unusual on the day of the fight. Ganguly, the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), wrote in his book, as reported by Cricket Country,

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“For all the fun off the field, playing Pakistan was always a charged affair — not just in Pakistan and India but in all neutral venues, be it Sharjah, Toronto, Australia, Sri Lanka or South Africa.”

“Every time you played them you noticed something was different. It was always eventful. But during my five-year captaincy career it is the incident at the Centurion in South Africa that remains one of the highlights for me.”

A scuffle between Harbhajan Singh and Yousuf Youhana

Sourav Ganguly revealed that the scuffle had taken place in the common lunch arena, which was mean for both teams. Ganguly added that although the fight had reached a point, where the team officials and senior members had to intervene to separate the two cricketers, the then-captain of the Indian team didn’t know what had led to the fight.

“A scuffle had taken place between Harbhajan Singh and Yousuf Youhana in the common lunch arena. I did not know what led to the fight. But the scene was getting out of control and senior members of both the teams had to finally separate them.”

“An Indo-Pak tie was always just that little bit extra tense. So the atmosphere was already heated. It also did not help matters that unlike other South African grounds the dressing rooms of the two teams were too close for comfort.”

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper gives his account

Rashid Latif, who was Pakistan’s wicketkeeper during the 2003 World Cup, shared his account on the scuffle between Harbhajan Singh and Yousuf Youhana, and told the Sun Herald,

“In the 2003 World Cup Harbhajan had a run-in with Mohammad Yousuf at Centurion. He wanted to fight after Yousuf made a comment. It was just a joke but he (Harbhajan Singh) took it seriously. He has a short temper. He needs to control his emotions. He is a good guy but he has some kind of problem with his temper.”

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