Gautam Gambhir clarified on Monday that it was a riposte to "anti-India slogans" from a section of the crowd
Gautam Gambhir (Pic: AFP)
It is due to his outspoken nature that former India opener Gautam Gambhir keeps finding himself in the headlines time and again.
On Saturday, Gambhir, Team India's only left-hander to have scored more than 1000 at a 50-plus average, found himself embroiled into another controversy when he allegedly showed his middle finger to spectators during India's Asia Cup 2023 match against Pakistan. However, the left-handed opener clarified on Monday that it was a riposte to "anti-India slogans" from a section of the crowd.
A video circulating on social media shows Gambhir making the obscene gesture at the crowd during India's high-octane tournament opener against their arch foes, which was abandoned owing to incessant rain.
"When you come to watch sport don't indulge in political sloganeering. If you are shouting anti-India slogans and Kashmir slogans you can't expect me to keep quiet. Social media never gives you full picture," Gambhir told mediapersons.
A section of the media reported that chants of "Kohli, Kohli" were heard when Gambhir was walking back to the broadcasting area from the ground in Pallekele during the rain interruption. However, Gambhir made it clear that his reaction had nothing to do with chants of "Kohli, Kohli".
"Whatever is shown on social media, there is no truth to it. People show what they want to show on social media. What actually happened was there were anti-India slogans being chanted. There were slogans about Kashmir also. So there will obviously be a reaction, one way or the other or laugh at it," he added.
Gambhir is part of the commentary team for the continental tournament.
Meanwhile, India were set a revised target of 145 in 23 overs under the Duckworth/Lewis method as play resumed after the day's second rain interruption in their match against Nepal here on Monday.
(With PTI inputs)