It has been two months since the enthralling IPL 2023 came to a close, leaving cricket enthusiasts captivated by the riveting action on the field. As the cricketing world shifted its focus to the WTC final and the thrilling Ashes contest, discussions surrounding the last IPL season and its impact continued to simmer. Amidst the anticipation of the impending 2023 World Cup, there remains one topic that lingers in conversations for all the wrong reasons – the infamous fight between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir.
The spat between Kohli and Gambhir
In the first week of May, the Ekana Stadium witnessed a match that was expected to be a significant battle, with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) facing off against Lucknow Super Giants, with playoffs qualification hanging in the balance. However, the match gained notoriety for reasons that extended beyond the on-field competition.
During the match, Virat Kohli, the poster boy of RCB, found himself embroiled in a heated argument with Lucknow Super Giants’ player, Naveen-ul-Haq. The altercation didn’t end with the final ball; it continued after RCB’s victory, with both players engaging in an intense handshake. To everyone’s surprise, Gautam Gambhir, the esteemed mentor of Lucknow Super Giants, stepped in, escalating the situation and leading to an ugly scene. Other players had to intervene to separate the two former India teammates, leaving the cricketing world in shock and disappointment.
Kapil Dev opens up about the incident
More than three months after that infamous incident, former India captain Kapil Dev made a heartfelt admission while urging the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play a more significant role in grooming players from their U-19 days. He emphasized that grooming players to be good citizens is equally important as honing their cricketing skills.
“What happened between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli in the IPL was painful for me. My two most important people – Virat Kohli, one of the top batters in the world, and Gambhir, a member of Parliament – how can they behave in such a manner? But sportsmen do lose their mind, from Pelé to Don Bradman to all people,” Kapil Dev expressed in his interview with The Week.
The incident left a cloud of discomfort, and fans were eager to hear from the involved parties. However, Virat Kohli chose to remain silent on the matter, cryptically posting on his Instagram handle for a few days after the match, hinting towards the spat.
On the other hand, Gautam Gambhir broke his silence on the ugly argument with Kohli in an interview with News 18. He clarified that his relationship with both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli was the same. In his words, “If there is an argument between us, it stays only on the field, not off the field. There’s nothing personal. They want to win as much as I do.”