Cricket is a gentleman’s game but sometimes the heat on the field says otherwise. The famous on-field face-off of Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir in Lucknow on Monday is a moment the cricket will never forget. However, this article is not about Kohli or Gambhir. It is about the infamous cricketer who was one of the reason behind that intense verbal exchange – Naveen-ul-Haq. While the world remained abuzz over Kohli vs Gambhir and Kohli vs Naveen incident during the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants match, an old tweet of Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi about Naveen went viral.
This was not the first time Naveen was involved in an ugly situation on a cricket field. Back in 2020, Naveen and Mohammad Amir exchanged some ugly worlds during the Lanka Premier League (LPL). Post-game, Shahid Afridi talked to the Afghanistani cricketer about the words he said to Amir. (Explained: How One Thing Led To Another, Reasons Behind Kohli And Gambhir’s Heated Argument After LSG vs RCB Match)
After the match Afridi took to Twitter to write: “My advice to the young player was simple, play the game and don’t indulge in abusive talk. I have friends in the Afghanistan team and we have very cordial relations. Respect for teammates and opponents are the basic spirit of the game.”
My advise to the young player was simple, play the game and don’t indulge in abusive talk. I have friends in Afghanistan team and we have very cordial relations. Respect for teammates and opponents is the basic spirit of the game. https://t.co/LlVzsfHDEQ
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 1, 2020
And later, Naveen replied saying: “Always ready to take advice and give respect, Cricket is a gentleman’s game but if someone says you all are under our feet and will stay their then he is not only talking about me but also talking about my people.” (Watch: Virat Kohli Shows Shoe To Naveen-ul-Haq As Duo Gets Engaged In Heated Exchange)
In an interview with The Cricketer a year later, here is how Naveen described the incident: “It was in the moment. Amir came out to bat and they were losing the match. My first delivery he swung so hard but missed the ball. I smiled and asked him how big a six he wanted to hit – I made a joke and he took it seriously. I am competitive from the first ball to the last ball but after the match I don’t have anything for anybody in my heart. He is a good player, a good cricketer.”
How much were the three stars fined?
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. Apart from this, Naveen-ul-Haq was also fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching the Code of Conduct.