In an emotional video posted on his social media handle, Sreesanth alleged that Gambhir repeatedly kept on calling him a fixer.
Former India batter Gautam Gambhir lashed out at senior journalist Rajat Sharma, who once was the president of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), for his coverage of an apparent spat between him and star batter Virat Kohli following the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), in which the latter emerged victorious.
The altercation happened at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Monday after RCB bowled LSG out for 108, scoring 126/9 in 20 overs, with skipper KL Rahul batting through a leg injury in an unsuccessful attempt to take his side to victory. Kohli had celebrated the fall of the LSG wickets during their innings with his trademark aggression. He was also seen blowing kisses to the crowd. In the previous encounter between the two sides last month, LSG team mentor Gambhir had signalled the RCB home crowd to be quiet after the visitors scraped to a narrow win. Not only did Kohli blow kisses at the Lucknow crowd when their team lost a wicket, but he also emulated Gambhir by pressing his finger to his lips, emulating the latter’s gesture for the crowd to keep quiet.
At the conclusion of the match, LSG opener Kyle Mayers walked up to Kohli and started speaking something when Gambhir came and took the West Indian away. Moments after this incident, cameras picked up Gautam Gambhir speaking animatedly with Virat Kohli. Other players, including KL Rahul, and support staff were seen separating the two. Kohli was then seen having a lengthy chat with LSG captain KL Rahul.
After the match ended, Gambhir and Virat shook hands and things looked fine then.
Rajat, in his news programme on India TV, claimed Gambhir had an inflated ego after being elected a Member of Parliament on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket. He also said that Virat, whom he called an “aggressive, no-nonsense player” was someone who could “give it back” to Gambhir. The journalist claimed further that Gambhir’s actions were against sportsmanship, did not behove his status as an MP and were damaging to the gentleman’s game.
Gambhir, in response, sent out a tweet Rajat Sharma’s popular show ‘Aap ki Adalat’. “A man who ran away from the job of running Delhi Cricket, citing pressure seems over-eager to sell paid PR as concern for cricket! yhii klyug’ hai jhaaN ‘bhgodd’e’ apnii ‘adaalt’ claate haiN (It is, perhaps, a testament to the times we are living in that a truant is running his own court),” Gambhir tweeted.
Man who ran away from Delhi Cricket citing “pressure” seems over eager to sell paid PR as concern for cricket! यही कलयुग़ है जहां ‘भगोड़े’ अपनी ‘अदालत’ चलाते हैं।
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 3, 2023
Rajat had resigned as DDCA president in November 2019. He was appointed to the post in July 2018.
In his letter announcing his resignation, Sharma had said, “I take this opportunity to thank you all to have reposed faith in me during my tenure as the President of DDCA. In my short stint, I have made every effort to discharge my obligations in the best interest of the Association with honesty and sincerity. The sole agenda was the welfare of the Association and transparency in each and every aspect.”
Sharma alleged that he faced many ‘roadblocks’ while discharging his duties.
“In my endeavour, though I faced many roadblocks, opposition and oppressions, just to keep me from discharging my duties in a fair and transparent manner, however, somehow I kept moving with only one agenda that all promises made to the members must be fulfilled while keeping the interest and welfare of Cricket paramount at all times,” he said.
“However, cricket administration here is full of pulls and pressures all the time. I feel that vested interests are always actively working against the interest of cricket. It seems that it may not be possible to carry on in DDCA with my principles of integrity, honesty and transparency, which I am not willing to compromise at any cost. That’s why I have decided to call it a day and hereby tender my resignation to the Apex Council from the post of President, DDCA with immediate effect,” Sharma added.
Coming to the match between LSG and RCB, Gambhir and Virat were fined 100 per cent of their match fees for breaching the Indian Premier League Code of Conduct.
LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq was also fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching the Code of Conduct. Naveen admitted to the Level 1 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct.