A screen grab showing the heated exchange of Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir© Twitter
Apart from the high-octane action on the field in the IPL 2023, one major talking point in the cash-rich league has been the altercations between stars of various teams. Be it Royal Challengers Bangalore star Virat Kohli’s on-field heated exchange with Lucknow Super Giants mentor Gautam Gambhir and pacer Naveen-ul-Haq. Or, RCB star pacer Mohammed Siraj’s angry words with Delhi Capitals’ Phil Salt and David Warner. The incidents seem to be too many. And England great Graeme Swann feels it is great for the IPL.
“Having playing cricket throughout my life, sometime emotions do boil over on the field. You know what, it’s good for the league if they do. You should never try and dilute the players so much, that they don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. One of the reasons why Virat Kohli is Virat Kohli is because he is so passionate about his cricket. He is so in your face that it intimidates a lot of players. And yet, there will be some players who will think that it goes too far. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli will always have their thing going. They are massive personalities, who grew up playing together. So, Gautam is never going to back down to Virat. That made me laugh. I thought it was brilliant,” Swann, IPL expert with official digital broadcasters Jio Cinema, told NDTV.
“It’s good show the passion. It’s good that Fast bowlers are bowling and then staring at batsmen. It’s also good if the fast bowler get the batsmen out and waves him goodbye. I have no issue with that. As long as after the game there is handshake and there is no bad image getting carried on screen. Then I am all for passion on the field. Trust me having played Ashes all my life, this is nothing compared to them”.
When asked in a separate question, whether the Kohli-Gambhir spat “has taken sheen off the IPL?” Swann replied: “Not at all. I think it’s fine. They shook hands after the game. they are grown men. Let’s face it if there was not conflict, it would be dull. I watched kabaddi and they fallout with each other all the time. And it’s brilliant.”
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