Gambhir, a mentor for the Lucknow Super Giants, and Kohli, who plays for the Royal Challengers, were caught on camera in a visibly heated verbal joust, replete with hand gestures and the involvement of the other cricketers in separating the two.
Also involved was Naveen-ul-Haq, an Afghan bowler playing for the Giants.
What has left social media users guessing was what the argument was actually about as audio from the argument remained completely inauble.
Gambhir and Kohli’s full match fees were docked, while ul-Haq was fined half of his match fee. All three players admitted to their offences, said the IPL’s organisers in a statement.
Kohli, well known for his combative nature on the field, seemed animated throughout the match as he screamed, punched the air and gestured to the crowd after every dismissal.
But when the players shook hands, the star cricketer appeared to have a blunt exchange with ul-Haq and was then confronted by Gambhir.
Full fight scene of virat kohli and Gautam Gambhir in lucknow stadium..#trend #virat #ViratKohli #gautam #gautamgambhir #ViratvsGambhir #viratvsgautamgambhir #rcb #RCB #RCBvLSG #LSGvsRCB #viratkholifight #fight #ipl #iplfight #lucknow pic.twitter.com/m26luwcLS6
— Ashwin Rai (@Ashwin_Rai_) May 2, 2023
In the heated exchange captured on camera, Kohli initially looked like he was trying to reason with Gambhir, but the conversation became heated and the pair, who previously clashed in a 2013 IPL match, had to be separated by team mates.
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) May 1, 2023
Hours after the showdown, Kohli posted a cryptic message on his Instagram.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth,” read his post.
The showdown has since paved the way for memes, with several jibes taken at the cricketers.
One tweet, of a clip from a Bollywood movie, revealed the frustration stemming from the lack of audio of the altercation.
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir after the match pic.twitter.com/MQwHGYnaSB
— PrinCe (@Prince8bx) May 1, 2023
Some tweets took aim at Gambhir and his current role as a national-level lawmaker for the ruling, right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Sources says Delhi voter Virat Kohli asked Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir to show his face in his constituency and do some work for voters. This didn’t go well with Gambhir,” wrote one user.
Sources says Delhi voter Virat Kohli asked Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir to show his face in his constituency and do some work for voters. This didn't go well with Gambhir. pic.twitter.com/dnfwYoWK9v
— AMIT KUMAR (@AMITKUM11292071) May 2, 2023
Gautam Gambhir is the only person who wonders why he doesn't get the respect that people give Dhoni. Everyone else knows why.
— PuNsTeR™ (@Pun_Starr) May 1, 2023
Gautam Gambhir was one of the weakest and mentally most insecure people I have worked with : Former India mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton
— Joy (@Joydas) May 1, 2023
Other users found and retweeted an old 2013 tweet from the late Australian cricketer Shane Warne.
Question cricket followers - is Ghambir in the top 3 annoying cricketers on the planet ??? #IPL
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) May 3, 2013
Yet another attack mocked Gambhir and pointed to different incidents when he was dissed by other cricketers.
Virat Kohli becomes the third successful player to own brainless Gautam Gambhir After Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal. #ViratKohli #gautamgambhir #ViratvsGambhir #shahidafridi pic.twitter.com/QtNvmHIRgF
— Shaharyar Ejaz 🏏 (@SharyOfficial) May 2, 2023
Another attack was aimed at Kohli and revealed the lost camaraderie between the former teammates by sharing the time when Gambhir had passed his Man of the Match award to Kohli after a 2009 match, when both played for the Indian cricket team.
Gambhir had scored an unbeaten 150 runs while Kohli had registered his first ODI century. Both had together stitched a partnership of 224 runs, that helped India chase down 316 runs for a 7-wicket victory against Sri Lanka.
You guys know who Gautam Gambhir is ?? He gave his MoM award to Virat Kohli on his first century in international cricket such a gold hearted person he is and some people's are trolling him for his aggression. pic.twitter.com/if2E7lrfZ4
— RADHE ࿗🇮🇳 (@Iamradhe_p00) May 1, 2023
Gambhir had retired from all forms of cricket in 2018. Both Kohli and Gambhir have in the past served as captains for India’s cricket team.