Thursday night's ugly spat between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir has been a bad advertisement for the game, feels former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar. Both Gavaskar and NDTV expert Dean Jones feel that the row could probably be due to an "old issue" that got out of control.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gambhir and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli exchanged angry words after Kohli was dismissed for a 27-ball 35. The incident between two Delhi Ranji Trophy and Indian teammates caught everyone by surprise. Interestingly, the duo was separated by a Delhi teammate Rajat Bhatia and Delhi-based umpire, A.K. Chowdhary.
Gavaskar told NDTV: "I think it just shows the intensity with which the IPL is played and how the players want to win. But any kind of bad language is certainly not acceptable. I think it's sad that two players from Delhi Ranji Trophy team were involved in this. May be some old issues have resurfaced."
Although the "old issue" is not very clear, both Gambhir and Kohli are temperamental cricketers. Gavaskar has been critical of Kohli several times before. However, from a cricketing point of view, Gambhir lost the Indian vice-captaincy to Kohli in recent times. Gambhir was also dropped from the Indian team due to poor form.
Former Australian batsman Jones also feels the spat may not be a simple "heat-of-the moment" incident. Suggesting that all may not be well between the two, Jones said: "Maybe it's a little bit deeper than what happened here. My question is maybe it’s something that's happened in the past who knows?"
Gambhir broke into a wild celebration after Kohli’s dismissal and Farokh Engineer feels such moments can be annoying.
"A batsman is really annoyed when he gets out and the last thing he wants is for someone to niggle him. Maybe someone said something …it was spur of the moment. It was lovely to see them shake hands and all is well for Delhi cricket, Indian cricket and IPL cricket," said Engineer.
Both Gambhir and Kohli were warned for their angry demeanour.