Pacer Naveen-ul-Haq of the Lucknow Super Giants has broken his silence regarding the controversial altercation he had with Virat Kohli during the IPL. Naveen-ul-Haq has placed the blame on RCB skipper Virat Kohli for initiating the fight.

Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq has recently shed light on his contentious altercation with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) superstar Virat Kohli during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. The incident occurred after RCB's match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Ekana Stadium. RCB emerged victorious in a closely contested match, seeking revenge for their earlier loss to LSG at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Throughout the game, Kohli was visibly animated, attempting to provoke players such as Kyle Mayers and Naveen-ul-Haq during LSG's run-chase. After the match concluded, Kohli engaged in a heated on-field confrontation with various members of the opposing team. LSG mentor Gautam Gambhir also got involved, leading to angry exchanges between him and Kohli until their respective teammates intervened and separated them.

The incident has drawn significant attention, highlighting the intense emotions and rivalries often witnessed in the IPL. The clash between Naveen-ul-Haq and Virat Kohli has become a topic of discussion among cricket enthusiasts, further emphasizing the competitive nature of the league.

During a routine handshake between the two teams, Virat Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq clashed, and now Naveen has come forward claiming that it was Kohli who initiated the fight. Naveen expressed that Kohli should not have said the things he did during his batting innings for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). He also blamed Kohli for forcefully holding his hands during the post-match handshake.

In an interview with BBC Pashto, Naveen stated, "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."

In one of the biggest controversies of IPL 2023, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, and Naveen-ul-Haq were all fined by the IPL governing council for their involvement in the ugly spat. Kohli and Gambhir had their entire match fees deducted as a penalty, while Naveen lost 50% of his match fee. Naveen, referring to the fines, suggested that it gives an indication of who started the fight, implicitly pointing fingers at Kohli.

Naveen maintained that he did not engage in sledging or utter any words during the game against RCB. However, he claimed to have reacted to the treatment he received from Kohli, who allegedly forcefully held his hands during their handshake.

The incident and subsequent fines shed light on the heated exchange and its repercussions, leaving a mark on the IPL 2023 season.

Naveen-ul-Haq reiterated his stance regarding the IPL spat, emphasizing that by looking at the fines, one can understand who started the fight. He clarified that he generally does not engage in sledging and, if he does, it is only directed towards the batsmen while he is bowling, as he is primarily a bowler. Naveen stated that during that particular match, he did not utter a single word or sledge anyone.

He pointed out that the players present during the match would know how he handled the situation, highlighting that he did not lose his temper while batting or after the match. However, he admitted that when shaking hands after the match, Kohli forcefully caught his hand, and as a human being, he reacted to it.

The feud between Kohli and Naveen extended to social media, with the LSG pacer famously using mangoes as a metaphor to taunt Kohli and his team for their failures throughout the tournament.