Kohli-Gambhir spat: Kumble, Harbhajan react to on-field controversy

Former India captain Anil Kumble has termed the altercation between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir as ‘unacceptable”. Kohli and Gambhir were involved in a heated exchange of words after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 18 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match.

IPL 2023: Full coverage | Points table | Schedule | Results | Orange Cap | Purple Cap​

The situation got so tense that other players and support staff members had to intervene to separate the two. Kohli and Gambhir were later fined 100 percent of their match fees for breaching the IPL’s Code of Conduct.

IPL 2023: Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir fined for ugly verbal spat after LSG vs RCB

Watch: Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir in ugly altercation after LSG vs RCB

Kumble reflected on the issue while analysing the game on JioCinema. The former India cricketer said that it wasn’t the “nicest” thing to see and one has to “respect” the opposition and game.

“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,” Kumble said.

“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,” he added.

Harbhajan, a former teammate of Kohli and Gambhir, also shares his opinion on the incident and the reason behind Kohli and Gambhir not sharing a very friendly relationship.

The former spinner said that Kohli and Gambhir together need to “spread a lovely message to cricket lovers”.

There will be a lot of questions over whose fault it was, whether it was Kohli’s, Gambhir’s or Naveen’s. A lot of heated words were exchanged, even while shaking hands you can see that Kohli immediately withdrew his hand,” Harbahajn said on his YouTube channel.

“Virat and Gautam are from the same city, they have even won the World Cup together, so I think that they should spread a lovely message to cricket lovers together.”

Kohli after ugly exchange with Gambhir: ‘If you can give it, you gotta take it’

Talking about their relationship, Harbhajan said that the equation between the two cricketers has not been the same since the 2013 incident at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The duo had got into an on-field spat during a match between RCB and Kolkata Knight Riders in 20213 in Bengaluru.

“If you see the highlights of this match, you’ll say that there was more fighting than cricket going on. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli already have their rivalry and differences from before itself. Their relationship was never the same after the incident at the Chinnaswamy Stadium long back.”

“We were all together in one team, won the World Cup, and those very same players are prepared to fight each other. This shows how serious cricket is going on.”

It was a low-scoring affair at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Monday.

RCB were restricted to 126/9 by LSG at home. But in the chase, Lucknow faltered. KL Rahul got injured while fielding and only came in to bat after nine wickets. LSG were eventually bowled out for 108. Spinner Karn Sharma and pacer Josh Hazlewood were the top performers for RCB, taking 2/20 and 2/15 respectively.

IPL: Haunted by Rahul’s injury, LSG lose the plot against RCB

JioCinema IPL expert Robin Uthappa was extremely impressed with Karn Sharma’s performance.

“He was dropped after performing so well, especially getting wickets in Bangalore. Not very expensive but still getting wickets, which is crucial in Bangalore. He didn’t figure in the side after Hasaranga came into the XI. You can never have too many leg-spinners in a T20 game, can you?”

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