Virat Kohli was involved in a heated exchange with Gautam Gambhir and Naveen-ul-Haq after the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s victory over Lucknow Super Giants today (May 1) in IPL 2023 culminated in ugly scenes on the field.

The altercation came after Royal Challengers Bangalore had bowled Lucknow Super Giants out for 108, with KL Rahul batting through a leg injury in an unsuccessful attempt to see his side home. During the LSG innings, Kohli had celebrated wickets falling with his usual animated gestures.

For context, in the previous fixture between the two sides last month, Lucknow team mentor Gambhir had signalled to the Bangalore home crowd to be quiet after LSG’s narrow victory. Not only did Kohli blow kisses in the Lucknow crowd’s direction when their team lost a wicket on this occasion, but he also emulated Gambhir by pressing his finger to his lips.

There was a flashpoint between Kohli and LSG tailender Naveen when the latter was batting towards the end of the match. Kohli appeared to say something that prompted a reaction from Naveen. In a short exchange, Kohli verbally retaliated and the umpires, as well as Amit Mishra at the other end intervened so the match could resume.

Once the match was over, the teams lined up to shake hands, with Naveen and Kohli exchanging words when they did so. Once Kohli had almost moved on from Naveen to shake the next player’s hand, he turned back as Naveen continued to speak to him. As both players looked more and more heated, Glenn Maxwell stepped in between the two to separate them, with Kohli walking away to shake hands with the rest of the LSG contingent.

As Naveen continued to talk and more LSG players and staff gathered around, RCB captain Faf du Plessis led his opening partner away from the scene. But, Kohli turned back and first engaged with Rahul, before having a heated conversation with Gambhir. Mishra again put himself between the two to diffuse the situation.

Before the exchange, Gambhir had pulled Kyle Mayers away from Kohli while the two were talking and was then held back by several LSG players as he gestured in Kohli’s direction.

After today’s match, Lucknow Super Giants sit third in the table, with Royal Challengers Bangalore in fifth.

Watch the Virat Kohli-Naveen-ul-Haq-Gautam Gambhir clash


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