"Virat Kohli didn't like it.."- Naveen-ul-Haq reveals the instigating point of his fight with the Indian legend

Updated - 04 Mar 2024, 01:01 PM

Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Naveen-Ul-Haq
Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Naveen-Ul-Haq [PC: Twitter]

Ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Lucknow Super Giants pacer Naveen-ul-Haq has recalled his infamous spat with Virat Kohli.

The game between LSG and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Lucknow was marred by the ugly spat between the players. It all started during the game when Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq were involved in a war of words before the latter refused to shake hands with the former during the customary post-match tradition. Former LSG mentor Gautam Gambhir also got involved and it only made things worse.

He and Kohli were involved in an animated argument before being separated by other players. Almost a year after the infamous incident, Naveen-ul-Haq has revealed the reason that made Gambhir lose his cool and get involved in the spat.

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Naveen-ul-Haq revealed that it all started when LSG traveled to Bangalore earlier in the season. The Lucknow-based outfit had defeated RCB on the very final ball of the match and it led to wild scenes. Avesh Khan took his helmet off and slammed it on the ground after hitting the winning runs while Gambhir was also seen celebrating wildly.

“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 said in a podcast with Zalmi TV.

“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,” he added.

Speaking further, he explained the reason behind Gambhir’s ‘finger on the lips’ celebration. After LSG’s last-ball win, Gambhir was seen silencing the crowd in Bengaluru by putting his finger on his lips.

“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 into 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 runout. Because of that, he wanted to silence the crowd. He is a passionate guy, and so is Virat,” Naveed-ul-Haq said.

Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq finally buried the hatchet during the ODI World Cup last year. Both the players will be up against each other in IPL 2024 as well, scheduled to begin on March 22.

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Gautam Gambhir IPL 2024 Naveen-ul-Haq Virat Kohli