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‘I texted Virat Kohli when he had a fight with Gautam Gambhir’: Pakistan batter’s DM that sparked viral Asia Cup moment

Pakistan batter Agha Salman revealed he had texted Virat Kohli during his episode with Gautam Gambhir during last year’s IPL.

When Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir nearly came to blows during the last IPL, it made for one of the ugliest on-field spats in recent memory. Neither was going to back down; it was that intense and it required multiple individuals – from umpires to players – to pull them away from each other. As the most controversial moment of IPL 2023, Kohli and Gambhir were slammed for their behaviour, which many former cricketers felt was unbecoming of two of India’s champion cricketers and more importantly, former teammates.

Virat Kohli meets players from the Pakistan team during last year’s Asia Cup. (Screengrab)

The news of Kohli and Gambhir’s altercation spread across borders, prompting Pakistan batter Agha Salman to send an Instagram DM to Virat in the aftermath of the spat. Salman, in an interaction with Islamabad United touched upon the topic and although he did not reveal his exact message to Kohli, the 30-year-old did share some details.

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“I have so much respect for Virat Kohli, I don’t think there is any cricket fan in the world who doesn’t respect him. I texted him, I am not going to tell you the complete details but will just tell you the start. It started with ‘Virat Bhai’, I texted him when he had a fight with Gautam Gambhir [during IPL 2023],” Salman said.

“I, Abdullah Shafique and Usama Mir were sitting together and watching a match, I think New Zealand were playing a series against Pakistan back then. There was nothing [negative] in that message that would make people think I said something bad.”

How Virat Kohli reacted to the DM

Salman went on to reveal how his text to Kohli would go on to make one of the most viral moments of the 2023 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. As India and Pakistan came together to play cricket for the first time since their epic clash at the T20 World Cup in Melbourne, a picture capturing Kohli, Salman and Shadab Khan sharing a laughter created social media buzz. Salman informed that when the picture was clicked, the three were discussing the DM episode and recalled Kohli’s reaction to it.

“I mistakenly told Shadab Khan about texting Virat. You have watched the video of me, Shadab and Virat standing together [during Asia Cup 2023], actually, at that time, he [Shadab] had told him [Virat] that he [I] texted him,” he added.

“We had a bit of laughter after I told Virat that I texted you this, he then told me he may have missed the message as he receives thousands of messages every day. It was all Shadab’s doing [telling Kohli].”

Agha clarifies Imam-ul-Haq’s comments

In December, Pakistan batter Imam-ul-Haq shed light on Salman’s text to Kohli, where he claimed that his teammates asked Kohli to ‘calm down’. “Kohli bhai, easy ho jao. Kya ho gaya hai? [Kohli brother, take it easy. What happened?],” Imam said in a video. But Salman discarded Imam’s statement urging folks not to believe.

“Don’t take Imam seriously. He ends up saying something when in flow and then keeps trying to cover it. I never said anything of that sort. Even in that podcast, he was trying to do damage control towards the end for what he said,” Salman said.


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