Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq has this to say about his on-field hug with Virat Kohli

This year’s edition of the IPL had witnessed some fiery exchange of words between the two cricketers


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Photo: PTI File
Photo: PTI File

Published: Thu 12 Oct 2023, 5:10 PM

The home crowd, present at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, eagerly waited to witness the face-off between Virat Kohli and Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq on Wednesday. It was the first time the two players were meeting after the heated argument during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) earlier this year. Their altercation even triggered a clash between the two oppositions. But there was no sense of animosity when Kohli and Naveen lined up against each other in the World Cup 2023 fixture.

The duo exchanged a handshake and even patted each other on the back during the India-Afghanistan encounter.

Naveen was asked about Kohli and the on-field gesture after the game and the Afghan international gave a million-dollar response.

In another video, Kohli, who is seen at the non-striker's end, is asking fans at the stadium to stop booing Naveen.

"Crowd will chant for their home cricketers and that is what they did. It is his (Kohli's) home ground. He is a nice guy, a good player and we shook hands. It (what happened) was always in the ground, it was nothing outside the ground. People make it big. They need that stuff for their followers. He said 'we are done with that and I said yes we are done with that'. We shook hands and hugged,” Naveen was quoted as telling news agency PTI.

Headlined by Virat Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq’s on-field spat, this year’s edition of the IPL witnessed some fiery exchange of words between the two cricketers. Kohli even issued a bold statement after his side RCB got the better of LSG, featuring Naveen, in an IPL 2023 game.

"That's a sweet win, boys. A sweet win. If you can give it, you got to take it. Otherwise don't give it,” Kohli said in a video shared by the Bangalore-based franchise.

Naveen-ul-Haq, on the other hand, had blamed Virat Kohli for starting the confrontation. In a bid to strengthen his point, Naveen also talked about the fines imposed on the players who were involved in the on-field clash.

He shouldn't have said all those things during the match and after it. I didn't start the fight. After the match, when we were shaking hands, Virat Kohli started the fight. When you will look at the fines, you will understand, who started the fight,” Naveen told BBC Pashto.

Coming back to the World Cup 2023 game, India extended their unbeaten run to two matches. They defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets. Chasing a total of 273, India skipper Rohit Sharma produced a record-breaking century. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, remained unbeaten on 55 as he scored the winning runs with 90 balls to spare. In their next match, India will be up against arch-rivals Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Saturday, October 14.


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