Naveen-ul-Haq and Virat Kohli: A tale of two cricketers who clashed on and off the field

Naveen-ul-Haq and Virat Kohli are two cricketers who have made headlines for their on-field and off-field altercations. The Afghanistan fast bowler and the Indian batting legend have been involved in a series of heated exchanges during the IPL 2023 and the World Cup 2023, which have sparked controversy and debate among fans and experts.

The first incident took place during the IPL 2023 match between Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on May 1, 2023. Kohli, who was leading RCB, asked his bowlers to target Naveen and the other LSG tail-enders with bouncers. Naveen, who was batting for LSG, did not appreciate Kohli’s suggestion and confronted him. The matter escalated after the match, when Kohli and Naveen had a verbal spat during the post-match handshakes. LSG skipper KL Rahul tried to play mediator between the two, but Gautam Gambhir, who was the mentor of LSG, intervened and had a fierce argument with Kohli. The trio of Naveen, Kohli, and Gambhir were fined for breaching the IPL code of conduct .

Naveen later blamed Kohli for the controversy, claiming that the former India and RCB captain started the fight. He said that Kohli caught his hand forcefully during the handshakes and that he did not sledge anyone during or after the match . He also posted a cryptic message on his Instagram account, saying “You get what you deserve”.

The second incident took place during the World Cup 2023 match between India and Afghanistan on October 11, 2023. Kohli and Naveen were up against each other again, as India faced Afghanistan in their group stage match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The match was expected to be a high-voltage encounter, given the history between the two players. However, there was no major confrontation between them during the game, as India won by nine wickets with 21 overs to spare. Kohli scored an unbeaten 62 off 78 balls, while Naveen bowled six overs for 36 runs without taking any wicket.

After the match, both players shook hands cordially and exchanged pleasantries. Kohli praised Naveen for his bowling skills and wished him well for his retirement from ODIs. Naveen thanked Kohli for his kind words and apologized for his previous behaviour. He said that he had learned a lot from Kohli and that he respected him as a cricketer and a person. He also posted a picture of them on his Instagram account, captioned “Respect”.

The two incidents show how Naveen-ul-Haq and Virat Kohli have had a roller-coaster relationship, marked by animosity and admiration. They have also shown how cricket can bring people together, despite their differences and disagreements.

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