Sunil Gavaskar calls for more severe penalty for athletes engaged in verbal altercations: “You have to ask them to maybe step aside for a couple of matches.”

The IPL organizing committee has penalized former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir and current star Virat Kohli with Level 2 charges after their heated altercation during the match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Ekana Stadium on May 1.

Notably, Virat Kohli and LSG pacer Naveen-ul-Haq got into a fight during the final few overs of the game, and it persisted till the customary handshake afterward. Gambhir got involved shortly after, and things quickly got out of hand. Because players like Virat Kohli are making a lot of money playing in the Indian Premier League, Sunil Gavaskar, a former Indian cricketer, wants BCCI to become stricter in order to prevent situations like this from occurring again.

“What does a 100% match fee mean? What does a 100% match fee actually mean? If Kohli is the culprit, he may be paid Rs 17 crore by RCB, which equates to Rs 17 crore for a total of 16 matches, including the semifinals and championship game. You are thus referring to a crore of rupees. Will he receive a fine of at least Rs. 1 crore? That’s a rather harsh fine, to be sure. I’m not familiar with Gambhir’s circumstance.

“They ought to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. You are hoping that this would not happen again because the fine and punishment are so severe. You want to play it ferociously and aggressively. Although there was some banter when we played, there was not the same level of aggression as there is now. The fact that everything is broadcast on television also has a lot to do with it. Gavaskar said in a statement to Star Sports that “you tend to do maybe just that little bit extra because you are on TV.”

Do something to ensure that these things don’t occur again: Gavaskar, Sunil
After their verbal altercation, the former cricketer also suggested suspending both Gambhir and Kohli. He cited the cricket players’ suspension in the Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth incident as an example. He therefore advocates for a harsher penalty to ensure that incidents like these don’t occur again in the future.

“Therefore, my message is to take action to ensure that terrible things never happen again. If necessary, you may have to ask them to perhaps take a break for a few games, as it was with Harbhajan and Sreesanth ten years ago. Make sure you take action to prevent these occurrences as well as action that will harm the team. That’s a tough one, he continued.

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