For former Hyderabad Ranji Trophy captain and now secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association Dr. M. V. Sridhar, the most demanding task as manager of the Indian team on the 2008 tour to Australia was handling the infamous incident between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds which was later labelled ‘Monkeygate’.

On Sachin’s role as a witness in the Monkeygate scandal, the HCA official says: “From the beginning, Sachin was very clear in his view — that Bhajji was innocent and that an innocuous swear-word was blown out of proportion. In the witness box, he was as calm as he was at the wicket and he presented all the facts accurately.”

“Sachin was cool and made it seem just like another day in the office. He was very candid and stated the facts in a simple but effective manner. What impressed Sridhar the most about the way Sachin handled the issue was “his calm demeanour and composure”.

Calming effect

“I was very nervous but it was Sachin who calmed me down and said that everything will be all right. I must say that I was lucky to have Sachin as the witness,” says Sridhar.

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