The Asia Cup 2023 match between India and Nepal, held at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on a Monday, bore witness to an unexpected and controversial moment. A video clip quickly spread across social media platforms, capturing the former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir, seemingly displaying a middle-finger gesture in response to a section of the crowd enthusiastically chanting Virat Kohli's name. However, the story runs deeper than this initial impression, as Gambhir has now chosen to break his silence regarding the viral incident.
This incident unfolded during a rain delay in the match. As Gambhir, a celebrated World Cup-winning cricketer, was making his way out of the stands, there were distinct and audible chants of Virat Kohli's name emanating from a distant section of the audience. The video that caught the moment depicted a visibly agitated Gambhir making a gesture that sparked a significant online uproar. Gambhir, who has transitioned into a political role, has chosen to shed light on his perspective.
Addressing the assembled press at the stadium, Gambhir clarified that the particular section of the crowd responsible for the disturbance primarily consisted of Pakistani fans. According to him, these fans were not only passionately chanting pro-Kohli slogans but were also engaging in anti-India chants and making comments about the sensitive issue of Kashmir.
“The crowd that was made up of Pakistani fans were shouting anti india slogans were also passing comments on Kashmir. As an Indian I can’t take anyone saying this about my country hence reacted this way. What you see on social media isn’t always the correct picture,” said Gambhir while talking to press at Pallekele.
In his explanation, Gambhir expressed his deep-seated sentiments as an Indian citizen, emphasizing that he could not simply stand by and tolerate derogatory comments about his homeland. He also stressed the idea that what often circulates on social media platforms might not always provide the full context or the true essence of an incident.
It's important to note that both Gambhir and Kohli have consistently debunked rumors of any personal animosity between them. They have consistently maintained that any intensity displayed on the cricket field is merely a manifestation of their passion for the game and not reflective of any personal conflicts.