‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…”. “Temperament is what separates the men from the boys.” These are popular statements we have heard from cricket commentators for the longest time. If you are someone who watches cricket closely and someone who follows the game to a great extent, you will well be aware of the fact that these lines are true indeed. We had seen the best of players with the coolest of mindsets lose their game when the situation demanded so. Nail-biting finishes are not just intense for the audience who are watching it but also for the players.

In such situations, it becomes essential for the players to hold their horses and not do anything detrimental to the spirit of the game. While, more often than not, players do it successfully, there have also been hostile situations in the past when the players failed to do so. As far as a tournament like IPL is concerned, it has happened on many occasions. So, today, we would like to take you back to the past and share with you all 6 such instances when things got really ugly between the players on the cricket field:

Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir (2023): Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir are two of the most reputed and respected cricketers in the country. While Virat Kohli is a modern-day living legend who’s compared with even the great Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir has been an integral part of team India in terms of helping them win the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. While both the players aren’t best friends, certainly, we also knew for a long time that they don’t share the best equation. Well, that’s exactly what led to them engaging in a heated tussle again in IPL 2023 during the game between RCB and LSG. The video of the hostile moment went viral everywhere and this was the second time a clash like this happened between Gambhir and Kohli in IPL. These are not really pleasant sights if you are an Indian cricket fan.

Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth (2008): This incident from the year 2008 has to be the most infamous fight in the game’s history. While all the battles on the field have been entirely verbal, this was the first occasion where a physical attack happened on the field. Harbhajan Singh was playing for Mumbai Indians and S Sreesanth was playing for Kings Xi Punjab back then. After the match, due to a specific altercation, Bhajji slapped Sreesanth in public. Later, the two of them, like mature adults, sorted it out and became friends again.

Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard (2014): Well, nobody likes to imagine the visual of a 6ft tall giant of a personality threatening to hit you hard with the bat? Right? Well, that’s exactly what happened in a game between RCB and MI back in 2014. Mitchell Starc was bowling and Kieron Pollard was batting and that’s when, something triggered between the two, which resulted in Pollard almost throwing his bat at Starc. The incident didn’t go down well with the then-captain of RCB Virat Kohli who too stepped in between to express his dislike for the situation. One of the most infamous fights on the cricket field in IPL indeed.

Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir (2013): Well, after the 2023 on-field fight between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, reading more about this incident almost feels like that 10-year challenge game on Instagram, right folks? Well, that’s precisely the thing. The only difference was that Gautam Gambhir was the skipper of the Kolkata Knight Riders back then, unlike now when he was the mentor of Lucknow Super Giants. Something triggered between Gauti and Cheeku after the latter got out. Later, the players and the umpires had to intervene to ensure that things didn’t really go out of control.

Sourav Ganguly Shane Warne (2008): Sourav Ganguly getting into the skin of Australians, a better love story than Twilight? Well, believe it or not, that exactly seems to be the case. We all know how Ganguly played with the ego of the Australians during his captaincy days for Team India. Well, even after his retirement from International cricket, he somehow managed to continue to do that even in IPL. It was a crucial game between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. After a delivery, Shane Warne was convinced that a catch had been taken off Sourav Ganguly’s bat. However, Ganguly was hesitant to leave the field and walk out. That’s when apparently, things became a little intense between Shane Warne and Ganguly back then. A few words were exchanged and later, the other players had to intervene to take control.

MS Dhoni Vs Umpires (2019): Last but certainly not least, how can we not talk about the only hostile incident involving Mahendra Singh Dhoni in IPL? It was in the year 2019 in a game against Rajasthan Royals where a no-ball controversy on the cricket field triggered MS Dhoni. The funniest thing about this incident? MS Dhoni wasn’t even on the cricket. He actually decided to come to the middle of the ground from the dugout and have a chat with the umpires directly about the incident. Well, only and only MS Dhoni could have done it and also gotten away with it. The roar and shout from the crowd spoke volumes of Dhoni’s action as he actually walked on the field and roared like a tiger in front of the umpires.

Well, all these instances prove the fact that when it eventually boils down to a nail-biting finish, even the best in the business can lose their calm and cool and go bonkers on the field. The incident between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli in 2023 certainly wasn’t the first one, and going by history, it certainly won’t be the last. As viewers, we are all in for sledding and competitive cricket on the field as long as the basic line of respect isn’t compromised. At the end of the day, in a country like India, youngsters and kids look upon cricketers as their icons. Henceforth, it’s important that they don’t lose the respect they earned after years of hard work and consistent performance just for 5 mins of limelight on the field which is a result of a heated exchange. Moral responsibility, at the end of the day, does matter. Hope our cricketers are taking note.