Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh may bowl a mean ball on the field, but he’s a great sport off the pitch too.
In an interactive session chaired by this journalist this week at the India-UAE Strategic Conclave presented by the Economic Times, the cricketer spoke at length about his bond with Sharjah (the city in which he made his One Day International debut), his love for Dubai’s kebabs and the vibrant culture of this metropolis.
“Dubai and Sharjah will also remain close to my heart. The year was 1998 and I was just 17-and-a-half years old when I made my debut in Sharjah … I remember each and every ball that I bowled here. Dubai and Sharjah gave me such precious memories,” he said.
His eventful journey in the highly-scrutinised and addictive world of cricket sprung from the games that he played here.
He also described Dubai as a city that led the way on how Indians and Pakistanis can live in perfect harmony.
“This city inspires me,” said Singh.
The IPL team Chennai Super Kings bowl will broaden his horizons soon. Singh, who has his own music album, will make his Tamil movie debut with ‘Dikkiloona’, starring Santhanam, soon. While the actor is yet to start filming his portions, he says it’s an interesting but brief role.
“The movie offer came as a surprise. But I think everyone in Chennai loved me after I started playing for Chennai Super Kings … I am really looking forward to this film,” said Singh.
The cricketer was joined by India’s National Award-winning interior designer Sunita Kohli in the panel.
Kohli, who has also written a cookbook on Lucknow cuisine, even invited Singh to her home to taste her sumptuous biryani and kebabs.
“Food is a great leveller among people… It brings us closer to people… Whenever I come to Dubai, I make sure that I go to this mall where they serve some amazing kebabs.”
The incredibly fit actor also believes that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym.
“It’s 25 per cent working out and 75 per cent about what you eat… But I am not against eating carbs, your meal should be healthy mix of proteins, carbs and fibre,” said Singh.
Ahead of the Dubai Fitness Challenge in the UAE, he also implore all the Gulf News readers to keep moving and keeping playing sport.
Watch the full video on Gulf News Facebook page.