Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir were fined 100% of their match fees following a post-match altercation after the conclusion of the RCB-LSG game Monday night.
Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir fined 100 percent of their match fee after heated exchange post LSG-RCB match
LSG’s Afghan bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, too, was fined 50% of his match fee for heated words with Kohli – during which he was also seen grabbing the former Indian skipper’s arm – before the two were separated by RCB’s Glenn Maxwell.
Gambhir, the LSG mentor, and RCB batting mainstay Kohli were fined for breaching Article 2. 21 of the IPL code of conduct, which relates to public acts of misconduct, unruly behaviour and inappropriate comments that are detrimental to the interests of the game.
Kohli’s match fee can be calculated from his contract with RCB but Gambhir’s fee is not revealed by LSG. The tradition has been that franchises pay such fines out of their own pockets.
IPL 2023: Virat Kohli-Gautam Gambhir ugly face-off
Kohli and Gambhir have indulged in aggressive on-field behaviour in the past. They have history of public post-IPL match showdowns. The two had a heated exchange of obscenities in 2013 following an RCB-KKR game. Gambhir was then KKR captain.
The trigger of the spat between Kohli and Gambhir seemed to be LSG opener Kyle Mayers‘ exchange with Kohli, which was seemingly interrupted by Gambhir pulling Mayers away. Gambhir’s aggressive celebration back in the first leg of this encounter at the Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru after LSG’s one-run win seemed to have riled Kohli up. And this time, it was Kohli who celebrated aggressively following RCB’s 18-run victory defending only 126 runs.
Gambhir had earlier pointed at the Chinnaswamy crowd and gestured it to shut up. Kohli repeated the gesture at the Ekana Stadium crowd in Lucknow.
Following the incident, cryptic messages were put out from the social-media handles of both Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq. RCB went on to release a dressing-room video after the match which shows an animated, bare-bodied Kohli saying: “If you can give it, you got to take it.”
Naveen took to Instagram and posted a story which read: “You get what you deserve. That’s how it should be and that’s how it goes.” Soon, Kohli put out a story quoting Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
This is the second time during this IPL that Kohli has got into a controversy for his post-match behaviour. Earlier, his apparent refusal to shake hands with Delhi Capitals mentor Sourav Ganguly during the customary post-game handshakes created a minor furore on social media.
This time too, social media was immediately abuzz with images of Gambhir and Kohli clashing, with Gambhir seen charging at Kohli and being held back by some LSG players. LSG’s Amit Mishra was seen restraining Kohli, with LSG assistant coach Vijay Dahiya and RCB skipper Faf du Plessis too getting into the act at some stage.
Kohli had apparently earlier pulled up Naveen-ul-Haq for trodding on the pitch with spikes, and even shown his boot to both the bowler and the umpire. As is always the case, a lot of fake news and innuendo on social media immediately started doing the rounds, distorting the incident.
Faf du Plessis defended Kohli, who seemed hyper-charged throughout the game, speaking in the same video posted by RCB: “That’s the best version of Virat, isn’t it? That’s when he’s at his best. It’s awesome to be a part of it. My job is to keep things calm on the field, which I thought we did really well.”
A source close to the developments said, “It was expected Kohli would turn up fired up in Lucknow. He was having a go at every LSG player right through the match. Naveen-ul-Haq was also not shying away when Kohli was batting. But things got out of hand during the chase. Kohli was gesturing to the crowd and mimicking Gambhir. And then he said something to Naveen while pointing at his shoe. Naveen was very upset.
“Mayers wasn’t having a cricketing conversation with Kohli. He just went up to Kohli to ask why he was saying unsavoury things for a mere stare from Mayers. Gambhir interjected and told Mayers there was no point of (having) a discussion and that irked Kohli further,” the source added.
Mike Hesson, RCB’s director of cricket operations, said, “I guess after the last match here at the Chinnaswamy where we lost off the last ball, it always felt like we were desperate to get this one. I guess you probably saw a little bit of that boil over.”