'Need something that will hurt the team:' Gavaskar wants this punishment for Kohli and Gambhir instead of monetary fine

The two Indian cricketers were involved in a heated argument that resulted in an abusive exchange following the IPL 2023 league stage encounter on Monday. 
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Even as the BCCI and IPL authorities took hold of things and laid out a penalty of 100% match fees against Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir for their verbal spat and abusive exchange, Sunil Gavaskar reckons stricter punishment should've been imposed on the two individuals for their act. 

The infamous episode took place late night on Monday (May 1) after the IPL 2023 league stage encounter between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Just after the game, following a series of mid-game sledging battles and jeering with LSG players, Kohli was seen engaged in sharing a mouthful with Gambhir, the opposition mentor, who was obviously miffed at his former India teammate having an aim at his players. 

Back and forth arguments on who instigated whom aside, one thing few would argue against is the fact that two giants of Indian cricket are expected to behave better than they did. The BCCI certainly didn't. It imposed a fine of entire match fees of Kohli and Gambhir for breaching IPL's Article 2.1, pertaining to the mandatory code of conduct. 

For Gavaskar, however, that isn't enough because the last thing the board would want is for such nasty incidents to play themselves out in the future as well. The former Indian captain believes both Gambhir and Kohli should've been suspended for a few games to send a good message across to other cricketers part of the IPL. 

Gavaskar calls on BCCI to suspend Kohli, Gambhir 

Speaking to host broadcaster Star Sports, Gavaskar said a fine of 100 match fees maybe "stiff" for a player like Virat Kohli, who has a highly lucrative contract with the RCB franchise, but a message needs to be send out to the fans and other players part of the IPL and the best means to send the message out would've been to suspend the two individuals for few games. 

"Well, I saw the visuals only a while ago, I did not see the match live yesterday. These things never look good. What is a 100 per cent match fee? What exactly is a 100 per cent match fee? If it is Kohli, who is on maybe ₹17 crores for RCB, which means ₹17 crores for a possible 16 matches, including the semi-finals, and finals. So you are talking about a crore of rupees. Is he going to be fined ₹1 crore and more? Well, that's a very, very stiff fine," Gavaskar said. 

"I don't know what Gambhir's situation is. They should ensure that this is not repeated. You are hoping that this is not repeated because it's such a stiff fine, such a stiff punishment. You want to play it hard, play it competitively."

"During the time that we played, there was a bit of banter, but there was none of this aggression that we see now. A lot of it has got to do with the fact that everything is on TV too. Because of the fact that you are on TV, you tend to do maybe just that little bit extra," he added. 

Also Read - 'What I did was wrong:' Harbhajan Singh brings up Sreesanth saga to make peace appeal to Kohli and Gambhir

Gavaskar also recalled the Harbhajan-Sreesanth physical clash in the inaugural season of the IPL to reinforce his point. Back in time, the BCCI had banned the leading off-spinner for slapping the then Punjab Kings (PBKS) seamer after the game. He went on to face an 11-match suspension.

"So, my point, do something which will make sure, these things don't happen again. If it has to you know, like it happened with Harbhajan and Sreesanth 10 years ago, that you have to ask them to maybe step aside for a couple of matches. Make sure you do something that ensures that these things don't happen and also something that will hurt the team. That's a stiff one," Gavaskar added. 

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