In a stinging attack on Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) mentor Gautam Gambhir, senior journalist and chairman of news channel India TV, Rajat Sharma accused him of being “jealous” of former India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli.
Rajat Sharma’s allegations against Gautam Gambhir came after he was involved in an infamous verbal spat with Virat Kohli earlier this week.
According to 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.
Rajat Sharma’s words, however, didn’t go well with Gautam Gambhir, who wasted little time in hitting back at him.
“A man who ran away from the job of running Delhi Cricket, citing pressure seems over-eager to sell paid PR as concern for cricket! yahii kalyug’ hai jhaa ‘bhgodd’e’ apnii ‘adaalt’ chalaate hai (It is, perhaps, a testament to the times we are living in that a truant is running his own court),” the LSG mentor tweeted.
Rajat Sharma and Gautam Gambhir’s war of words after ugly scenes erupted at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium on Monday night.
The 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 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.
Meanwhile, India batting great Sunil Gavaskar dropped a bombshell over Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir’s face-off.
After Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir were fined 100 percent of their match fees by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following their ugly verbal spat on Monday, Sunil Gavaskar was left disappointed with the development.
“Lucknow Super Giants’ Mentor Gautam Gambhir has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Mr Gambhir admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct,” a statement from the Indian cricket board said.
“Royal Challengers Bangalore batter Virat Kohli has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Lucknow Super Giants at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Mr Kohli admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct.”
“Lucknow Super Giants’ Bowler Naveen-ul-Haq has been fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Mr Naveen-ul-Haq admitted to the Level 1 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct,” the official release added.
However, Sunil Gavaskar was unhappy with the BCCI’s decision to let off Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir with fines. Instead of deducting their match fees, the 1983 World Cup winner demanded that Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir should have been served with a ban as their on-field behavior crossed all the lines of decency. Their behavior was uncalled for and unacceptable, Sunil Gavaskar pointed out.
“Well, I saw the visuals only a while ago, I did not see the match live yesterday. These things never look good. What is a 100 percent match fee? What exactly is a 100 percent match fee? If it is Kohli, who is on maybe Rs 17 crore for RCB, which means Rs 17 crore for a possible 16 matches, including the semi-finals, and finals. So you are talking about a crore of rupees. Is he going to be fined Rs 1 crore and more? Well, that’s a very, very stiff fine,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
“I don’t know what Gambhir’s situation is. They should ensure that this is not repeated. You are hoping that this is not repeated because it’s such a stiff fine, such a stiff punishment. You want to play it hard, play it competitively. During the time that we played, there was a bit of banter, but there was none of this aggression that we see now. A lot of it has got to do with the fact that everything is on TV too. Because of the fact that you are on TV, you tend to do maybe just that little bit extra,” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar isn’t the only cricketer to demand a ban on Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli.
The legendary Virender Sehwag shared similar sentiments to Sunil Gavaskar.
“I switched off the TV once the match got over. I had no idea about what happened after the match. The next day when I woke up, I saw a lot of chaos on social media. What happened wasn’t right. The loser should quietly accept defeat and walk away and the winning team should celebrate. Why did they need to say anything to each other. I always say one thing, that these guys are icons of the country. If they do or say anything, millions of kids follow them and probably think ‘If my icon has done this, I would too’. So if they keep these things in mind, they would limit such incidents,” Virender Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
“If the BCCI decides to ban anyone, then maybe such incidents will happen rarely or not take place at all. Such incidents have happened several times in the past so it’s better to do whatever you want to inside the controlled environment of the dressing room. When you’re on the ground, these things don’t look nice. My own kids can lip-read and they very well understand Ben Stokes. So that is when I feel bad. If you’re saying such things, if my kids can read it, others can too and tomorrow they will think that if they (Kohli and Gambhir) can say it, so can I,” Virender Sehwag opined.
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