There is certainly no love lost between former Delhi teammates Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. The bad blood between the duo, which goes back 10 years in the Indian Premier League (IPL), once again spilled over after the IPL 2023 match between Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Lucknow on Monday night.
Kohli and Gambhir were once again involved in a heated exchange after a low-scoring match, which RCB won by 18 runs. Both of them were subsequently fined 100 per cent of their match fees after admitting to Level 2 offences in IPL’s Code of Conduct.
“Lucknow Super Giants’ Mentor Gautam Gambhir has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Mr Gambhir admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct,” an IPL statement read.
The incident comes 10 years after their altercation in the IPL during RCB’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru. Kohli now plays for RCB as a batter after giving up captaincy to Faf du Plessis in 2022, and Gambhir is retired and works as the global mentor with KL Rahul-led LSG.
While the players were shaking hands after the game, there seemed to be words exchanged between LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq and Kohli. This was followed by Gambhir pulling away his side’s opening batter Kyle Mayers from a chat with Kohli.
All hell broke lose after that as Gambhir was seen approaching Kohli aggressively with his players, including the injured captain KL Rahul and Amit Mishra, restraining him. With the two facing off, Kohli was seen attempting to pacify Gambhir but rather than cooling off, the matter started to boil over before Amit Mishra stepped in and separated the duo.
“Royal Challengers Bangalore batter Virat Kohli has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Lucknow Super Giants at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Mr Kohli admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct,” the IPL statement read.
Kohli had seemed extra animated throughout the fielding innings as RCB successfully defended 126 in an away match that had more crowd support for the visitors than the hosts. He was seen gesturing to the crowd after taking a catch to dismiss Krunal Pandya, possibly in response to Gambhir’s gestures in the last match between the two side in Bengaluru which LSG won by 1 wicket.