In an attack on Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, an Australian newspaper slammed the batting maestro for backing his teammate Harbhajan Singh during the 2008 ‘Monkeygate’ scandal here, saying some Australian players lost respect for him after the incident.

“While the cricket world is abuzz with anticipation that the Little Master will score his 100th international century during the second Test in Sydney, beginning tomorrow, some recent Australian players have not forgiven his role in the Andrew Symonds ‘Monkeygate’ scandal,” The ‘Herald Sun’s Malcom Conn wrote in a column titled ‘Sachin’s Sin City’

The writer goes on to state that the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal will forever haunt Tendulkar.

”...despite the unparalleled greatness of his achievements, some Australians lost respect for him when he gave completely different accounts of what took place as a key witness in the Harbhajan Singh—Andrew Symonds racism meltdown,” he claimed.

The row escalated after Symonds accused Harbhajan of racially abusing him. Tendulkar was among the players who appeared as witnesses in the case, and stated that the feisty off—spinner merely used a Hindi abuse which sounded like ‘monkey’.

Tendulkar’s role had been criticised by former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who in his book ‘True Colours’, described the appeal as a “joke“.

The write—up was dismissed by expert Harsha Bhogle as merely an attempt to distract the Indians.

“i get along well with Malcolm Conn but I am delighted to disagree that Sydney 2008 represents a moment of shame for tendulkar,” tweeted noted commentator Harsha Bhogle.

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