The entire nation saw the spat between two former Indian teammates and was baffled regarding the reason for their coming together, and now someone has spilt the beans on the incident.
Some found it juvenile, a few others liked the spice and the idea of intense rivalry, while the firm believers of the ‘Gentlemen’s Game’ thought it could have been avoided. So what happened in Lucknow on Monday night? An eyewitness, who was in one of the team dug-outs, gave a lowdown of events to PTI.
“You saw on TV that Mayers and Virat were walking side by side for a few metres post-match. Mayers asked Kohli why was he constantly abusing them and Virat, in turn, questioned why was he (Mayers) ‘staring’ at him? Before that (Amit) Mishra had complained to umpire about Virat constantly abusing Naveen (ul-Haq), who is a No. 10 batter.
“Gautam, sensing that things could turn ugly, pulled Mayers and told him not to have a conversation, when Virat made a comment. The heated exchange that followed seemed a bit juvenile,” he said.
“Gautam asked ‘Kya bol raha hain bol'(What were you saying?) and Virat replied, ‘Maine aapko kuch bola hi naahin, aap kyon ghus rahein ho’ (Why are you coming in between when I haven’t told you anything).
“Gautam responded, ‘Tuney agar mere player ko bola hai, matlab tune meri family ko gaali diya hai. (You abused my player and that’s like abusing my family) and Virat’s reply was, ‘Toh aap apne family ko sambhal ke rakhiye’. (Then you take care of your family).
“Gambhir’s final reply before they were separated was, ‘Toh ab tu mujhe sikhayega…’ (So now I have to learn from you…).” The eyewitness said that while it was tense and a blow away from turning into a free-for-all, it all seemed a bit juvenile at both ends.
It was a ‘deja vu’ moment for everyone who had seen the duo nearly come to blows in 2013, when Kolkata Knight Riders were playing Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kohli was then the superstar-in-the-making and Gambhir, out of the Indian team, was a shrewd captain at KKR.
Cut to 2023, Gambhir remains a firebrand who is a TV pundit and also mentor of a franchise where he is the remote-control skipper. Ditto for Kohli, who remains the skipper of RCB in spirit. On paper though, Faf du Plessis is the captain.
The pair are said to have a complicated relationship, and the latest turn of events may damage it further. Kohli has already found himself in controversy after the handshake saga with Sourav Ganguly in RCB’s match against DC.
Both were fined heavily for the verbal altercation, and we can only hope they will try to behave in a better way when they meet again.
(with inputs from PTI)
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