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Indian Premier League 2023

Explained: The exact sequence of events that led to the Kohli-Naveen-Gambhir post-match clash

Kohli Gambhir clash - how the sequence of events unfolded during the Kohli Gambhir clash in Lucknow
by Naman Agarwal 4 minute read

The Lucknow vs Bangalore clash last night (May 1) came to a controversial finish with Virat Kohli, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Gautam Gambhir, among others, engaged in heated arguments. This is how the sequence of events unfolded.

The last time these two sides met in IPL 2023 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the match finished with a bizarre sequence of events, including a ramp shot that ended up being a hit wicket, an unsuccessful run-out attempt at the non-striker’s end, a legendary zero not out off one ball by Avesh Khan, and some crowd-silencing antics by Lucknow mentor Gautam Gambhir.

Bangalore came to the return mixture, at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, with a point to prove, and that reflected in their aggression on the field as they came out to defend 126. Every wicket was celebrated with wild roars, fist pumps, and flying kisses aimed at the crowd. At several stages, Kohli even orchestrated the crowd like he usually does in international cricket, despite it being the opposition’s home ground.


The 17th over

Things started going south in the 17th over of the chase, when Afghan fast bowler Naveen was at the crease. Kohli, pumped up at the fall of regular wickets and sensing blood, gestured his India teammate to bowl bouncers at Naveen.

Naveen saw that gesture and came up to have a few words with Kohli, which was when the altercation began. Non-striker Amit Mishra and the umpires had to rush in to intervene and separate the two players.

The shoe gesture

The umpires and Mishra had successfully separated Kohli and Naveen, but Kohli continued to have an extended chat with them, possibly explaining the whole scenario as to what was said between the two. By this point, Naveen had returned to the crease.

Kohli now gestured towards Naveen, then at his own shoe. More words were exchanged, albeit from a distance, as Kohli moved towards his position at cover. From the non-striker’s end, Mishra seemed to request Kohli to calm down, which probably made the latter come up to him and have a conversation. He might have been explaining his side of things.

The Siraj staredown

Naveen could not connect the last ball of the over properly. Siraj came up to him and gave him a cold stare that reminded viewers of a similar stare-down of Ollie Robinson at the Lord’s Test in 2021.

He then proceeded to underarm the ball at the stumps from a near point-blank range while still staring at Naveen. No words were spoken in this exchange.

The handshake saga

Bangalore eventually won the match. During the customary post-match handshakes between the two teams, tempers flared again: Kohli and Naveen exchanged words even as they moved ahead to shake the next player’s hand. This time Glenn Maxwell played the mediator, separating the two players.

After the handshakes, Kyle Mayers was seen having a conversation with Kohli. This was cut short when Gambhir, mentor of Lucknow, escorted Mayers away.

The Kohli-Gambhir incident

Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis tried taking Kohli away from the crowd of players after the handshakes, but to no avail. Kohli approached Gambhir, who had been gesturing in his direction aggressively. Yet again, Kohli seemed to explain his side of things, but neither party was in any mood for amicability.

As things started getting heated again, the two players were surrounded by nearly half the members from both squads. As before, it took a Mishra intervention to separate them.

Kohli narrates to Rahul

After the tension seemed to have died down a bit, Kohli had an animated discussion with KL Rahul, the injured Lucknow captain. He seemed visibly annoyed at whatever had transpired, and one of his several hand motions during that conversation included the silencing gesture that Gambhir had made in Bangalore and then Kohli had repeated in Lucknow.

Naveen passed by the duo during this conversation, and Rahul asked him to join in, possibly to sort things out. Naveen did not oblige.

Watch the entire sequence of events


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