Kopar Khairane
Sports

Eyewitness recounts Gambhir and Kohli's argument at the IPL: "You abused my players, they're like family"

During and following the Lucknow Super Giants vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2023 match at the Ekana Stadium, there were three distinct yet connected incidents involving Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Gautam Gambhir that caused controversy on social media and put experts and fans in an awkward position. While Naveen was fined half of his match fee, Gambhir and Kohli received a full match fee deduction. Such were the images that cricket luminaries like Sunil Gavaskar suggested suspending the players to prevent anything similar from happening again.
Naveen-ul-Haq responded in some way to Kohli's relentless aggression during the LSG chase in the 17th over. Amit Mishra, the non-striker, and the on-field umpires attempted to mediate the conflict, but Kohli persisted in taking shots at the Afghanistan bowler, who in turn only gave him a blank look. But when the teams gathered to shake hands, Naveen didn't indicate that he was going to back down. He grabbed Kohli's hand and shoved him as the argument escalated.
Later, LSG starting quarterback Kyle Mayers was seen speaking with Kohli. The LSG coach, Gambhir, arrived and pulled Mayers away as Kohli watched in displeasure.
Both Gambhir and Kohli seemed to be going separate directions, but the latter quickly sprung into action. He angrily rushed towards the former RCB captain, shoving the LSG players out of his path. Kohli made a U-turn and chose to advance towards Gambhir. He was spotted speaking to Gambhir and placing his hand on his shoulder, but LSG's Amit Mishra broke up the conversation when he saw that things were getting out of hand.
So what transpired on Monday evening in Lucknow? An eyewitness who was in one of the team dugouts provided PTI with a timeline of what happened.
“You saw Mayers and Virat strolling side by side for a short distance after the match on television. Mayers questioned Kohli about why he was humiliating them, and Virat questioned Mayers about why he was “staring” at him. Prior to that, (Amit) Mishra had complained to the umpire about Virat repeatedly mistreating No. 10 batter Naveen (ul-Haq).
“When Virat said something, Gautam drew Mayers aside and advised him not to talk to him because he thought things would go nasty. The argument that ensued looked a little childish,” he observed.
“Kya bol raha hain bol” (What were you saying?) was Gautam's question. “Why are you coming in between when I haven't told you anything,” Virat retorted. “Maine aapko kuch bola hi naahin, aap kyon ghus rahein ho.”
“Tuney agar mere player ko bola hai, matlab tune meri family ko gaali diya hai, Gautam said. (You mistreated my player, which is the same as mistreating my family), to which Virat responded, “Toh aap apne family ko sambhal ke rakhiye.” You (then) tend to your family.
Gambhir said, “Toh ab tu mujhe sikhayega… (So now I have to learn from you…)” before they were split apart.The eyewitness said that, despite the tension and the threat of a brawl, both sides' actions appeared a little childish.
For everyone who had seen the two almost collide in 2013, when Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore were playing, it was a “deja vu” moment.
At the time, Gambhir, a member of the Indian squad, was a savvy skipper for KKR, and Kohli was the burgeoning superstar.
In 2023, Gambhir is still a fiery figure who mentors a franchise where he serves as the remote-control captain in addition to being a TV analyst.
Similar holds true for Kohli, who continues to lead the RCB in spirit. Faf du Plessis, though, is the captain on paper.
“The two of them have a rather complex connection. Although Gautam is not a bad person, he is not the most straightforward. He had no business showing the throng at Chinnaswamy, which reveres Virat's name, the sign of a finger on lips.
“Now Virat had the opportunity to outdo himself here, and he did. He is aware that Gautam has been a vocal critic of his leadership, but he won't back down, according to a former India player who shared a dressing room with both.

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