'Gambhir jealous, can't digest Kohli's success': Ex-PAK star opens can of worms – Hindustan Times

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It’s been almost two months since the ugly bust-up between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir took place at the IPL 2023. The sight of Kohli and Gambhir nearly coming to blows after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win over Lucknow Super Giants will go down as one of the most infamous spats of all time. Gambhir and Kohli, who are no strangers to having differences on the field – they first went off on each other during IPL 2013 – once again let emotions get the better of them, especially when the tiff didn’t even involve the former India opener. It was between Naveen-ul-Haq and Kohli that a heated exchange took place, but Gambhir’s inclusion made it pretty clear that he wasn’t going to let anyone misbehave with one if his players.
Kohli and Naveen continued to have a go at each other – this time via cryptic Instagram stories – while Gambhir finally broke silence on in his spat with Virat by saying ‘If there is an argument between us, it stays only on the field, not off field. There’s nothing personal’. But if former Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad is to be believed, Gambhir’s actions stem out of pure jealousy for Kohli. Shehzad, who was once deemed Pakistan’s version of Kohli due to his somewhat similar resemblance to the Indian superstar, feels Gambhir’s actions towards his former India teammate clearly indicates that he is looking for reasons to pick up a fight. He even accused Gambhir of polluting the minds of youngsters within the Lucknow Super Giants unit.
“By what I saw, it was really sad. I can understand what happened on the field between that Afghanistan player (Naveen) and Virat Kohli. These things happen, but what you can’t understand is why would Gambhir target a player of his own country, who right now the world’s biggest player. The gestures he showed against Kohli were not right. Our perception as viewers has changed as our feelings have gotten hurt. It seemed as if Gambhir tried to create something out jealousy. IPL has a brand and if any Indian superstar is being said something by someone – in this case Naveen – it means that there is hatred spread inside the dressing room. Only then does a player get the confidence to go and misbehave,” Shehzad said on The Nadir Ali podcast.
The discarded Pakistan opener’s mind then harked back to 10 years ago, when Kohli and Gambhir first had their infamous face-off. It was the first instance that the so-called issues between Kohli and Gambhir came to light. Ever since, each time Gambhir has said even remotely negative about Kohli or criticised his game, social media has been quick to jump the gun.
How and when did things turn sour between the two is a question no one has the answer to. After all, this is the same Gambhir, who once shared his Player of the Match award with Kohli on the occasion of the latter’s maiden ODI century. So how did this coldness creep in? Shehzad, in an outrageous claim, reckons things turned south once Kohli surpassed all levels of superstardom, which Gambhir, in his words, could only dream of.
“We have seen in the past as well that Gambhir has had problems with Kohli. I think he is jealous of Kohli and looks for an opportunity to pick up a controversy with him. I have never seen anyone misbehave with Kohli. He is a legend of the game and you should respect him. And after that, he is giving excuses. He said that he once shared his Man-of-the-Match award with Kohli. Did Virat ask you to? Or do you think that by giving him your award, you’ve earned the right to misbehave with Kohli for the rest of your life? It doesn’t work that way,” Shehzad added.
“I feel he hasn’t been able to digest the respect and success Kohli has achieved. What he has achieved in such a young age, Gambhir couldn’t achieve it his entire career. If you’re really a big player, or big at heart, this shouldn’t be your gesture. You should realise your mistake, and apologise to him. I have never seen a staff from the management jump in a tiff between two players.”
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