IPL 2023: Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir fined after post-match spat

Gambhir and Kohli, who played together when India won the 2011 World Cup, had a shouting match before Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis intervened

Lucknow Super Giants’ team mentor Gautam Gambhir greets Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli (L) at the end of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on May 1, 2023. (Photo: Getty Images)

Chandrashekar Bhat

Indian cricket star Virat Kohli was fined on Tuesday (2) for the second time in this IPL season after a post-match altercation with former national team-mate Gautam Gambhir.

Both were docked their entire match fee, the Indian Premier League said, while Naveen-ul-Haq was fined 50 per cent of his for breaching the league’s code of conduct.

Kohli and Afghan bowler Naveen were seen having sharp words on the field during a tense match between Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants on Monday (1).

Kohli, who has often run into trouble with his aggressive approach, had to be restrained by opposition batsman Amit Mishra during the match. Bangalore eventually won by 18 runs.

Afterwards, Lucknow’s Kyle Mayers had to be led away from an exchange with Kohli before other players tried unsuccessfully to stop a visibly furious Gambhir, Lucknow’s team mentor, from confronting him.

Kohli took to social media on Tuesday with a cryptic Instagram post quoting a famed Roman emperor and philosopher: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. – Marcus Aurelius.”

Gambhir and Kohli, who played together when India won the 2011 World Cup, had a shouting match before Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis intervened.

The former national team-mates were also involved in an ugly on-field exchange in a 2013 IPL match.

The 41-year-old Gambhir has become an MP for India’s Hindu-nationalist ruling BJP party since retiring from cricket in 2018.

This was Kohli’s second offence this season after he was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for his conduct during Bangalore’s loss to Chennai Super Kings last month.

Despite being one of the best batsmen of the modern game, “King Kohli” and Bangalore have never won the Indian Premier League.

He quit the RCB captaincy at the end of the 2021 season.

He went through an extended batting slump in 2021 and 2022 and lost the Indian captaincy, one of the most high-pressure jobs in world sport.

Kohli, 34, has spoken about his mental health struggles during his dry phase, including how he had been “snappy” to his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma.

He has had numerous run-ins with opposing players and was once reprimanded after hitting a plastic chair with a bat following his dismissal during an IPL match.