IPL 2023 | Hearing Virat Kohli chants gives me passion to play well, proclaims Naveen ul-Haq

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Naveen ul-Haq on Wednesday remarked he got extra motivation to do better for Lucknow Super Giants whenever he heard Virat Kohli chants at the stadiums. The Afghanistani pacer claimed 4/38 against MI in the Eliminator, but his valiant efforts were not enough to take LSG to Qualifier 2.

Ever since Lucknow Super Giants hosted Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 1, Naveen-ul-Haq has started hogging the limelight after getting involved in a heated argument with Virat Kohli. While Kohli has not reacted to it anytime after the incident, Naveen kept on adding cryptic posts on social media, which simultaneously brought hatred toward him. Even on Wednesday, when LSG were playing Mumbai Indians at Chepauk, the crowd taunted him with ‘Kohli Kohli’ chants on a night when he returned impressive figures of 4/38. It was not the first time Naveen heard the chants from the spectators, as they kept on teasing him due to his off-field behaviors.

After LSG got eliminated on Wednesday, Naveen was asked how he felt when the crowd chanted Kohli’s name everywhere he went to play since the day. The 23-year-old, however, sportingly replied that there is nothing much that impacted him negatively. Instead, their chanting helped him to perform better on the field.

“I enjoy it. I like everyone on the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player’s name. It gives me the passion to play well for my team,” said Naveen at the post-match presentation. 

“Well I don’t concentrate on the outside or the noise from outside or anything else. I just focus on my own cricket and my own process. Crowd chanting or anyone saying something doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen, you have to take this in your stride. One does when you don’t good for your team, fans are going to give it to you. And when you do good for your team, the same people are going to chant your name. Basically, this is part and parcel of the game.”

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