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'Kohli started the fight'

June 16, 2023 18:14 IST
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IMAGE: Afghanistan fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq opened up about his spat with Virat Kohli during IPL 2023. Photograph: BCCI

IPL 2023 left us with a truckload of memories, and one of the most talked about incidents was the heated exchange during the Lucknow Super Giants-Royal Challengers Bangalore match.

The war of words, which nearly came to blows, involved Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and Naveen-ul-Haq.

Speaking to BBC Pashto about the incident, Naveen claimed Kohli started the fight and the fines handed out proved that fact.

'He shouldn't have said all those things during the match and after it. I didn't start the fight. After the match, when we were shaking hands, Virat Kohli started the fight.

'When you look at the fines, you will understand, who started the fight,' Naveen told BBC Pashto.

Following the encounter, Kohli and LSG Mentor Gautam Gambhir were docked their entire match fees while Naveen was fined half his fee.

IMAGE: Following the spat between Kohli and Naveen, LSG Mentor Gautam Gambhir got involved and the tournament witnessed another epic Kohli-Gambhir exchange. Photograph: BCCI

'I just want to say one thing -- I generally don't sledge anyone,' Naveen stated. 'Even if I do it, I would say it to the batters only when I am bowling because I am a bowler.'

'In that match, I didn't utter a single word. I didn't sledge anyone. Players who were there, they know how I dealt with the situation.'

'I never lost my temper when I was batting or after the match. What I did after the match can be seen by everyone,' Naveen said.

'I was just shaking hands and then he caught my hand forcefully and I am also human being and I reacted.'

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