The nascent rift between Naveen-ul-Haq and Virat Kohli, which started when the pair met on 1 May at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, seemed to have had another subplot added to it on Sunday, 21 May, after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s elimination from the IPL 2023 playoffs race.
What Is the Story?
Bangalore, and subsequently, Kohli’s hopes of winning the title met an unceremonious conclusion, as Gujarat Titans handed them a six-wicket defeat at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Barring eviction from the playoffs race, it also meant that Kohli’s 16-year wait of winning the IPL would continue into a sixteenth instalment.
Just when the match concluded, Lucknow Super Giants’ pacer Naveen-ul-Haq, who had a verbal heated exchange with Kohli at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, shared a cryptic story on Instagram, which netizens have believe to have been directed at the former Indian skipper.
What’s There in the Video?
Naveen’s story is a clipping from the Ghanaian comedy show called ‘The Real News’, which airs on UTV. Hosted by Akwasi Boadi, popularly known as Akrobeto, the clip shows the comedian laughing hysterically, stating “God have mercy upon us.”
The 23-year-old has tagged two people on the video – Afsar Zazai, his Afghanistan teammate, and Prasanth Panchada, the physio of Aghanistan cricket team, who also works with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Why Are the Fans Getting Involved?
Whilst there is not direct correlation whatsoever, three factors – the timing of the upload, the hysterical laugh and sarcastic clapping by Akrobeto in the clipping, and Naveen’s prior rift with Kohli – have led fans to the assumption that the Afghan speedster’s story was directed at the Bangalore batter.
Notably, while RCB have been knocked out from the competition, Lucknow have qualified for the eliminator, wherein they will face Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, 24 May. That fixture will be played in Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium.