IPL 2023 | Hope my brothers hug it out, Harbhajan and other former cricketers have their say on Kohli-Gambhir saga

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The fixture between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Ekana on Monday was an instant IPL classic, largely because of the post-match fiasco. The event provoked several well-renowned former cricketers from airing their thoughts as they criticized the conduct of the players.

After Royal Challengers Bangalore eked out an 18-run win against Lucknow Super Giants on rival territory, tensions flared between Virat Kohli and several home players, including Naveen ul Haq, Amit Mishra and team mentor Gautam Gambhir. Incidentally, Gambhir and Kohli have a shared history as well, with the two infamously squaring off on the field in a 2013 encounter between Bangalore and rivals Kolkata Knight Riders captained by the now-retired veteran. Kohli was fined 100% of his match fee by the BCCI after the latest incident, as was Gambhir, while Naveen suffered a 50% deduction in his earnings from the game.  

Anil Kumble expressed his disappointment with the lack of sportsmanship displayed by the players.

A lot of emotions do go in but you should not be displaying such emotions openly...You may disagree on field, you may have a go at the opposition, you may say things on the field in the heat of the moment. But once the game is over, you just need to shake hands and doff your hat, not to the player but to the game, because that's something you need to respect. I don't know what was said, some things may have been personal. That's something you don't want on the cricket field. Both with Virat, Gautam and whoever was involved, it wasn't the nicest thing to see.

Anil Kumble via JioCinema

Harbhajan Singh, who allegedly slapped compatriot Sreesanth on the field in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, condemned the happenings in Lucknow as well while admitting blame for his wrongdoings in the past.

I am ashamed of what I did with Sreesanth in 2008. Virat Kohli is a legend, should not get involved in such things. Whatever happened between Virat and Gambhir was not right for cricket. Everyone will start pointing fingers and blame, but all of this is not a good advertisement for cricket. They are such big players, Gambhir is an MP as well, these are my little brothers, and nothing good will come off this. This is all useless. Kids watch you guys play and it is our responsibility being ambassadors of the game that we impart the right image to the younger generation. I hope that my two brothers will hug it out and bury the hatchet. That will be a very positive message for everyone. 

Harbhajan Singh via Twitter

Sreesanth spoke up on the incident as well, opining that the issue boiled over unnecessarily.

It's just that LSG lost at home very badly and Virat Kohli had a very good day. This happens when you are known for that aggression and because you are passionate. And he is actually explaining to Rahul exactly what happened. Maybe when Naveen was batting, Virat must have said something and Naveen must have reacted when he was about to shake hands. You can see it in his eyes, he did not mean it at all. The white-line fever should be inside the white line and not outside.

S Sreesanth via Star Sports

Former wicket-keeper batter Robin Uthappa, who has shared the field with both players on several occasions, explained the situation in the context of the duo's personalities.

Those handshakes were intense one and it came down to a few words after the game. It's a hard one to watch to be honest and it is unbecoming for the game. I know both are fiery characters as Gautam Gambhir wears his heart on his sleeve and Virat Kohli is the same.

Robin Uthappa via JioCinema

Murali Kartik and Manoj Tiwary, meanwhile, focused their blame on the management for the unnecessary feud.

This has been going on for 10 years and I suppose nobody allows it to die down, how it (the flame) is fanned, but whatever, it is not good.

Murali Kartik via Cricbuzz

This has been going on for 10 years and I suppose nobody allows it to die down, how it (the flame) is fanned, but whatever, it is not good.

Manoj Tiwary via Cricbuzz

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