Srinagar: Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad has backed Team India star cricketer Virat Kohli in his ugly spat with Gautam Gambhir, terming former India opener jealous with Kohli’s success.
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir nearly coming to blows after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win over Lucknow Super Giants during IPL 2023.
Originally 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.
Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad is to be believed, Gambhir’s actions stem out of pure jealousy for Kohli.
“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 also recalled 10 years ago incident, when Kohli and Gambhir first had their infamous face-off.
“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.”