Afghanistan pacer Naveen Ul Haq had an excellent outing in IPL 2023 for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), but he’ll be more remembered for his scuffle with Virat Kohli during the LSG v RCB clash and their social media engagement after that episode.
Ever since then, Naveen has posted multiple sly digs at Kohli and/or Bangalore. The altercation led to fans loudly chant “Kohli, Kohli” whenever and wherever LSG played. Not only Naveen, but LSG mentor Gautam Gambhir wasn't spared by the fans as well.
The chanting continued last night in Chennai as well, during the Eliminator, whenever Naveen came to bowl, conceded a boundary or bowled a wide, the crowd erupted.
On Wednesday, as the Lucknow Super Giants pacer took 4/38 against Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator, he did that with the crowd chanting “Kohli, Kohli!”.
“I enjoy it. I like everyone on the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player’s name. It gives me a passion to play well for my team.
Well, I don’t concentrate on the outside or the noise from outside or anything else. I just focus on my cricket and my own process. Crowd chanting or anyone saying something doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen, you have to take this in your stride. One does that when you don’t do good for your team, fans are going to give it to you. And when you do good for your team, the same people are going to chant your name. This is part and parcel of the game,” Naveen said in the post-match press conference.
IPL 2023: WATCH – Naveen-ul-Haq pulls off 'shut outside noise’ celebration after dismissing Rohit Sharma; video goes viral
During the LSG-RCB tussle, Lucknow mentor Gautam Gambhir stood up for Naveen and the seamer has publicly acknowledged his support over the weeks. Naveen lauded the former India opener for his support.
He said, “Everyone should back their players. Mentor, coach, player, or anyone – I will stand for each teammate on the ground and that’s what I expect from each individual also. He (Gambhir) has been a legend in India; he has huge respect in India. He has given so much to Indian cricket.”
“As a mentor, as a coach, as a legend of cricket, I respect him a lot and have learned so many things from him – how I should go about my cricket inside the field and the same thing outside,” he added.
This was the second time LSG lost in the Eliminator of the IPL.