An ’eyewitness’ to the Virat Kohli-Gautam Gambhir spat, which took place after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Monday, May 1, has opened up on details of the incident.
The LSG-RCB clash in Lucknow was marred by multiple controversies. First Kohli and Lucknow pacer Naveen-ul-Haq had a go at each other, not once but twice. Tempers continued to boil even after the game, with Kohli and LSG mentor Gambhir getting involved in a heated argument, forcing some of the players and the support staff to intervene.
In another development in the controversy, PTI quoted an eyewitness who was in one of the team’s dug-outs and gave a detailed account of the incident. The eyewitness revealed that the post-match confrontation began with a chat between Kohli and Kyle Mayers. The eyewitness elaborated:
“You saw on TV that Mayers and Virat were walking side by side for a few meters post match. Mayers asked Kohli why was he constantly abusing them and Virat, in turn, questioned why was he (Mayers) ‘staring’ at him? Before that (Amit) Mishra had complained to umpire about Virat constantly abusing Naveen (ul-Haq), who is a No. 10 batter.
“Gautam, sensing that things could turn ugly, pulled Mayers and told him not to have a conversation, when Virat made a comment. Gautam asked ‘Kya bol raha hain bol’ (What were you saying?) and Virat replied, ‘Maine aapko kuch bola hi naahin, aap kyon ghus rahein ho’ (Why are you coming in between when I haven’t told you anything).
“Gautam responded, ‘Tuney agar mere player ko bola hai, matlab tune meri family ko gaali diya hai. (You abused my player and that’s like abusing my family) and Virat’s reply was, ‘Toh aap apne family ko sambhal ke rakhiye’. (Then you take care of your family).
“Gambhir’s final reply before they were separated was, ‘Toh ab tu mujhe sikhayega…’ (So now I have to learn from you…).”
The eyewitness described the exchange between the two cricketing superstars as a bit juvenile.
Gambhir and Kohli have had their tussles in the past as well. During IPL 2013 as well, they were involved in a heated argument after the latter was dismissed during a match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and RCB.
“Something that’s unacceptable” – Anil Kumble on Kohli-Gambhir fight
Sharing his views on the controversy, former India captain Anil Kumble described the behavior of both Kohli and Gambhir as “unacceptable”. He told JioCinema:
“A lot of emotion goes in but you don’t want to be displaying those emotions here. This is important, you need to have a conversation. But this is something that’s unacceptable. No matter what, you have to respect the opposition and the game.
“Once a game is over, you have to shake hands and tip your hat off, not to the player but to the game because that’s something you need to respect… I don’t know what was spoken, some things may have been personal and you don’t want that on the cricket field. But with Gautam and Virat and the players involved, it wasn’t the nicest thing to see.”
Speaking of the game, RCB beat LSG by 18 runs in a low-scoring encounter on a sluggish batting surface.