Virat Kohli's Flying Kiss Celebration: Unlikely Suspension Despite Prior Offense

Virat Kohli inflicted a brilliant direct hit to run out Shahrukh Khan during the first innings of RCB vs GT match at Bengaluru.

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During the match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Gujarat Titans at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, Virat Kohli was involved in a controversial gesture. Kohli affected a direct hit to run-out Gujarat Titans batter Shahrukh Khan, who was looking well set on 37 off just 24 balls.

It was a pace off delivery from bowler Vijaykumar Vyshak on middle and off. Batter Rahul Tewatia tapped the ball towards point and Shahrukh Khan set off for a run at the non-strikers end. But he was sent back by Tewatia. By the time Shahrukh could get back to the crease, Kohli had inflicted a direct hit at the non-striker's end and found the batter short of the crease. After running the batter out, Kohli blew a flying kiss.

Why Kohli is unlikely to be suspended despite flying kiss celebration?

Article 7 of the Code of Conduct outlines the sanctions for breaches. While clause 7.3 specifies that a player with one prior offense may face a fine ranging from 50% to 100% of the match fee and/or a suspension of up to two matches, it's important to note that this penalty is applicable only for repeat breaches of the same article. Kohli's initial breach this season fell under Article 2.8 (showing dissent at an umpire's decision), whereas his current likely breach pertains to Article 2.5 (inappropriate gestures).

Earlier, KKR fast bowler Harshit Rana received a suspension for violating Article 2.5 on two occasions during the season. His first offense occurred when he gave a send-off that included a flying kiss to Mayank Agarwal in KKR's match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was then cited again for telling Abishek Porel to return to the pavilion during KKR's match against Delhi Capitals.

As a result, Rana missed Kolkata Knight Riders' match against Mumbai Indians played at Wankhede Stadium on May 3.

According to the IPL Code of Conduct, a player can face suspension if they commit two offenses under the same Article in the current season or in the immediately preceding season.

Also read: Hear the hilarious banter between Wriddhiman Saha and Virat Kohli caught on stump mic

Kohli faces the risk of suspension for a game this season if he demonstrates dissent at an umpire's decision again or uses provocative gestures, especially if fined for the latter after the RCB-GT game. Furthermore, he could also be suspended for breaches of Articles 2.2 (abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment, or fixtures during a match) and Article 2.21 (conduct that brings the game into disrepute) at any point in IPL 2024. He was found guilty of violating the last two clauses in the IPL 2023.

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