Updated March 4th, 2024 at 16:08 IST

'Gambhir GOT CARRIED AWAY. Kohli didn't like it': Naveen-ul-Haq reveals what ignited spat with Virat

Afghanistan cricketer Naveen-ul-Haq reveals on what fueled his spat with Virat Kohli during the IPL 2023 season.

Reported by: Pavitra Shome
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir during IPL 2023 | Image:BCCI
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One of the hottest moments in the IPL 2023 season was the intensity between the Lucknow Super Giants and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. After the match, tension was visible between both teams, especially Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and Naveen-ul-Haq, whose rivalry was the most talked about thing. The Afghanistan bowler opened up over the on-field spat that took place and shared how he fell in the middle of the spat that prompted Gambhir to side with his team member, leading to the players from both camps coming out to separate the former teammates.

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Naveen-ul-Haq reminisces on what ignited his spat with Virat Kohli  

Naveen-ul-Haq is one of the most sensational bowlers in the world. The Afghani pacer has attracted a lot of attention for his skills and deliverance. But in the eyes of the Indian fans, Naveen is often targeted due to a heated moment that took place between him and Virat Kohli. During his appearance in Zalmi TV podcast, the LSG pacer claimed that the match in Bengaluru, which the Lucknow-based side won in an exciting finale, was where the foundations of the confrontation were sown as Kohli wasn't content with Avesh Khan's celebration after the match.

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"We went to play our away match in Bengaluru. That's where it all started. We won that game - it was very close – so one of our players [Avesh Khan] threw the helmet in excitement after scoring the winning runs.

"Virat Kohli probably didn't like it. Next, their team came to Lucknow. I think I went out to bat at No. 9 or 10 and we had pretty much lost the game by then," Naveen-ul-Haq mentioned in his appearance.

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India's Virat Kohli and Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq bury the hatchet during a match at the ODI World Cup | Image: AP

"So, I didn't expect that I would be sledged. But when it happened, like I said, when someone starts, I can't hold back. After the game, things continued during the handshake too. The sledging came from two guys – Kohli and Mohammed Siraj," the Afghan pacer added.

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Further in the podcast, Naveen-ul-Haq revealed how Gautam Gambhir had an overreaction when he made the shush gesture in Bengaluru when Harshal Patel attempted to run out the player at the non-striker's end.

"Gautam Gambhir got carried away [with the shush gesture] because in the previous game, when we needed 1 off 1, one of their bowlers wanted to run the non-striker out while running in to bowl. It was the last wicket. It got heated because the bowler missed taking the bails off."

"Spirit-wise it wasn't looking good because it had proven to be such a good game by then. It would have been a shame had it ended in a run out. Because of that, he wanted to silence the crowd. He is a passionate guy, and so is Virat," Naveed added.

IPL is ready to kick off on March 22, with the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings clashing against the Royal Challengers Bangalore to open the 2024 season.

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 14:26 IST