sunil gavaskar virat kohli gautam gambhir sportstiger

Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian captain and the commentator in the IPL 2023, has recently shared his views on the Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir spat following the Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore match at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. He called for stricter punishment for both the parties, (i.e. a potential suspension instead of monetary fines). 

Both Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir were docked 100% of their match fees, while Naveen Ul Haq was fined 50% of his match fees, for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct. The entire issue began when Kohli and Ul Haq went at each other with harsher words during Lucknow’s pursuit of the 126-run total set by Bangalore, which they fell behind by 18 runs at the end.

In a conversation, when Sunil Gavaskar was asked about what he had thought about Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir spat. He said, “Well, I saw the visuals only a while ago, I did not see the match live yesterday. These things never look good. What is a 100 per cent match fee? What exactly is a 100 per cent match fee? If it is Kohli, who is on maybe ₹17 crores for RCB, which means ₹17 crores for a possible 16 matches, including the semi-finals, and finals. So you are talking about a crore of rupees. Is he going to be fined ₹1 crore and more? Well, that's a very, very stiff fine.”

Sunil Gavaskar further mentioned, “I don't know what Gambhir's situation is. They should ensure that this is not repeated. You are hoping that this is not repeated because it's such a stiff fine, such a stiff punishment. You want to play it hard, play it competitively. During the time that we played, there was a bit of banter, but there was none of this aggression that we see now. A lot of it has got to do with the fact that everything is on TV too. Because of the fact that you are on TV, you tend to do maybe just that little bit extra.”

Furthermore, the ICC Hall of Famer shared the example of the slap gate incident involving Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth - which led to the spinner from Punjab getting banned from the entire IPL season in 2008 and 5-ODIs for Team India shortly afterwards - to make a point about potentially banning Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir for a few matches to ensure these kinds of altercations don’t happen on the ground. 

“So, my point, do something which will make sure, these things don't happen again. If it has to, you know, like it happened with Harbhajan and Sreesanth 10 years ago, that you have to ask them to maybe step aside for a couple of matches. Make sure you do something that ensures that these things don't happen and also something that will hurt the team. That's a stiff one,” Gavaskar remarked.