Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq fired back at India great Virat Kohli following their ugly brawl during a recent Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) clash in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Ekana Stadium in the Uttar Pradesh capital.
Naveen-ul-Haq’s subtle jibe at Virat Kohli came after the latter posted a message on Instagram that appeared to be a dig at the Afghani player.
“You get what you deserve that’s how it should be and that’s how it goes,” Naveen-ul-Haq said on the Meta-owned platform.
Naveen-ul-Haq’s reaction came in response to Virat Kohli’s previous swipe at him, where he highlighted that “everything we see is not the truth”.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth,” Virat Kohli wrote on the photo and video-sharing app.
The two cricketers have remained in the spotlight for their heated confrontation during an RCB vs. LSG clash at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium earlier this week.
Consequently, Virat Kohli had a go at Amit Mishra, leading to a tense face-off with LSG mentor Gautam Gambhir.
There were multiple fiery exchanges between players of the two sides during the latter stages of the match and after its completion, with Virat Kohli telling the Lucknow team’s members: “If you can give it, you’ve got to take it back as well. Otherwise don’t give it”.
The ugly row started during the concluding stages of LSG’s run chase, in the 17th over of their essay, when a charged-up Virat Kohli had a long discussion with the on-field umpires.
A little later, the video of the ugly episode was broadcast on the big screen by Star Sports, the official broadcasters of the premier T20 tournament.
In the footage, Virat Kohli could be seen saying something to Naveen-ul-Haq which resulted in the Afghan player charging towards him. The Delhi-born cricketer, however, was taking none of it as he immediately responded with a tirade of his own before showing his shoe to Naveen-ul-Haq. But it wasn’t exactly clear what the former India captain said.
The nasty scenes during the game didn’t stop there.
After players of the two teams shook hands, Gautam Gambhir charged at Virat Kohli, with the former looking visibly upset with the latter over an issue.
In the viral clip, the RCB superstar argued with the LSG mentor over something before KL Rahul and Vijay Dahiya intervened and separated Gautam Gambhir from Virat Kohli.
For the uninitiated, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli don’t share the best of relationships with each other. The two fought with each during the 2013 IPL when Gautam Gambhir was the skipper of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Since 2013, the relations between the two Delhi-born cricketers have remained frosty.
Last month, when RCB played LSG at their home ground, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Gautam Gambhir broke into wild celebrations after his side overhauled a huge total to beat Virat Kohli’s team in their own den.
It was followed by a tense handshake between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli before the LSG mentor took a dig at the home crowd by making a “keep quiet” gesture.
According to senior journalist Rajat Sharma, Gautam Gambhir is “jealous” of Virat Kohli’s growing popularity, and perhaps that’s why he reacted the way he did.
“Gambhir has been provoked. After fighting the elections and becoming a Member of the Parliament, Gambhir’s ego has increased even more,” Rajat Sharma said on India TV. “How Virat Kohli’s popularity worries Gambhir was witnessed yet again, clearly on the ground. Kohli is a player who is always aggressive, doesn’t tolerate any nonsense and so he gave Gambhir an apt reply.”
“In all, what Gambhir did is against the sportsman spirit. This behavior is not befitting of a former India player and a current Member of Parliament. Such incidents ruin the reputation of cricket and should not have happened,” the popular television host elaborated.
Meanwhile, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said that Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir should have handled the situation better.
“I think the penny will drop in a day or two. And they will realize that this could have been handled a lot better. Both play for the same state and they have played enough cricket. Gautam is a double World Cup winner, and Virat is an icon. Both come from Delhi. I think the best thing would be to sit them both down and put an end to it. Once and for all,” Ravi Shastri said.
“Whoever does it, the sooner the better, because you don’t want this to spill off. Carrying on, the next time they meet again there are words exchanged and one thing leads to another. The sooner the better. If I have to do it so be it,” Ravi Shastri explained.
On the other hand, former India batter Aakash Chopra who has witnessed Virat Kohli from close quarters in Delhi, had a unique take on their spat, claiming that such fights make for good viewing for the spectators.
“The story of Kohli and Gambhir is the biggest talking point. The whole story is that when the last match between RCB and LSG happened, Gautam made some gestures at the Chinnaswamy crowd. Where those gestures came from and why they were made is something that you and I will never know. What we can see is that something is happening between them,” Aakash Chopra said.
“When the Bangalore team arrives here in Lucknow, the cameras are on Kohli and he reacts to every wicket and every catch as if it’s a World Cup match against Pakistan. It’s like a grudge match and he’s trying to vent his anger. We see multiple altercations, whether it’s with Naveen-ul-Haq, Amit Mishra, or Kyle Mayers,” he added.
“It makes for good viewing because people like to watch things like Bigg Boss. But when we deep dive and look at it as an Indian cricket fan, where one is a modern-day great and the other is a multiple-time World Cup winner and member of parliament and they get involved in such an incident, it leaves a sour taste,” Aakash Chopra stated.
Also, Aakash Chopra argued that the ex-RCB skipper was not worthy of being a role model like the legendary MS Dhoni.
“I want to emphasize that the behavior being displayed in front of us is not appropriate for a role model. A role model is someone whom we can aspire to be like and follow in their footsteps. For me, MS Dhoni is the epitome of a role model. When I talk to my kids about role models, I will encourage them to be like Dhoni. That’s all I have to say about this issue,” the former India opener summed up.
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