Another ugly face-off between Kohli and Gambhir during IPL game, both fined 100% of match fees
Both were fined 100 per cent of their match fees for breaching Article 2.21 of IPL code of conduct, which relates to public acts of inappropriate comments detrimental to the interest of the game
Star India batter Virat Kohli and former opener Gautam Gambhir added another chapter to their bitter rivalry as they got involved in an ugly face-off after the Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants in Lucknow.
Kohli, one of RCB's batting mainstays, and Gambhir, the LSG mentor, were seen having a heated argument after the Bengaluru-based side won the match by 18 runs on Monday night.
Both were on Tuesday fined 100 per cent of their match fees for breaching Article 2.21 of IPL code of conduct, which relates to public acts of misconduct, unruly public behaviour and inappropriate comments detrimental to the interest of the game.
Kohli seemed to be referring to the spat with his former India and Delhi state team-mate when he said "you got to take it, otherwise don't give it", after the match.
"That's a sweet win boys. A sweet win. Let's go. If you can give it, you got to take it. Otherwise don't give it," Kohli said in a video published by his team on YouTube, where he was seen celebrating with the rest of the RCB players.
The trigger was probably the interaction between Kohli, who seemed animated throughout the fielding innings of RCB, and LSG opener Kyle Mayers.
While the players were shaking hands after the match, LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq -- who was also fined 50 per cent of his match fee -- and Kohli were seen exchanging words and RCB's Glenn Mexwell separated them.
This was followed by Gambhir pulling away Mayers while the latter was speaking with Kohli.
Just after that, Gambhir was seen charging towards Kohli even as LSG players, including the injured captain KL Rahul, tried to restrain him. Eventually, Kohli and Gambhir got involved in a heated argument with players from both sides surrounding them.
Gambhir looked the more animated of the two and was repeatedly held back from charging towards Kohli by the LSG players and support staff. This was after the two had shaken hands.
Initially, Kohli was seen holding Gambhir's shoulder, but as the exchange continued, veteran spinner Amit Mishra, RCB captain Faf du Plessis and LSG assistant coach Vijay Dahiya stepped in to separate the duo.
After the altercation, Kohli was also seen talking to LSG skipper Rahul.
Kohli and Gambhir are former India team-mates and have played together for the Delhi state side but they have had a history of face-offs.
They were also involved in a face-off 10 years ago in the IPL during RCB's match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru.
The last time when LSG and RCB clashed in Bengaluru in this edition, Gambhir had gestured towards the Bengaluru crowd with a 'shut up' sign.
RCB director of operations Mike Hesson said the ugly incident could have something to do with that match at Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 10, when LSG won by one wicket off the last ball.
"I guess after the last match at Chinnaswamy, where we lost off the last ball, it always felt like we were really desperate to get this one. So I think you probably saw a little bit of that boil over tonight," Hesson said in the video posted on RCB Twitter handle.
Du Plessis, on his part, said he has no problems with a pumped-up Kohli.
"That's the best version of Virat, isn't it?" Du Plessis said in the video.
"To see him pumped up like that. That's when he's at his best. It's really awesome to be a part of it. My job is to keep things calm on the field, which I thought we did really well." Former India captain Anil Kumble was, however, not impressed with the behaviour of Kohli and Gambhir, saying showing emotions in the way it happened on Monday was "unacceptable".
"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 told the broadcasters.
"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," added the legendary spinner.
The IPL said in a statement that both Kohli and Gambhir admitted to breach of its code of conduct rules.
"LSG Mentor Gautam Gambhir has been fined 100% of his match fee for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mr Gambhir admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct," the statement said.
"RCB batter Virat Kohli has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against LSG. Mr Kohli admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct.
"LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq has been fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against RCB. Mr Naveen-ul-Haq admitted to the Level 1 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct."