Ever since the controversy involving LSG pacer Naveen-ul-Haq, coach Gautam Gambhir and former RCB skipper Virat Kohli erupted during the two teams’ encounter on May 1, the Afghan pacer has drawn attention with his social media posts and comments.
In a recent incident, post-RCB’s elimination from the tournament, Naveen took to Instagram and posted another cryptic Instagram story where a famous African TV reporter can say, “God have mercy upon us” and then starts laughing.
Earlier, he had posted pictures of mangoes between the matches for which he received the moniker “mango man” from his West Indies teammate Nicholas Poooran. And, post Mumbai Indians’ convincing win over Lucknow, MI players also took to social media to post a picture of themselves enjoying mangoes, as fans assumed it was aimed at Naveen.
“Sweet season of mangoes,” wrote seamer Sandeep Warrier alongside a photo of Kumar Kartikeya, Vishnu Vinod, and a table with three mangoes in the centre. However, when the post caught fans’ attention, it was taken down.
MI players Sandeep Warrier, Kumar Kartikeya and Vishnu Vinod. (Screengrab/Instagram)During the match on Wednesday, every time Naveen took the ball, chants of “Kohli-Kohli” echoed at the Chepauk stadium and they grew only louder when he was hit for a boundary or bowled a wide.
Speaking about it, Naveen at the post-match conference said, “I enjoy it. I like everyone in the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player’s name. It gives me passion to play well for my team.”
“Well I don’t concentrate on the outside or the noise from outside or anything else. I just focus on my own cricket and my own process. Crowd chanting or anyone saying something doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen you have to take this in your stride. One do when you don’t good for your team, fans are going to give it to you. And when you do good for your team, same people are going to chant your name. Basically this is part and parcel of the game,” added Naveen.
When asked how his friendship with Gambhir has helped him develop as a player during the IPL, Naveen responded, “Everyone should take back of their own players.”
“Everyone should take back of their own players. Mentor, coach, player or anyone. I will stand for each teammate on the ground and that’s what I expect from each individual also,” he said.
“He (Gambhir) has been a legend for India, he has huge respect in India. He has given so much to Indian cricket. As a mentor, as a coach, as a legend of cricket, I respect him a lot and have learnt so many things from him. How I should go about my cricket inside the field and same thing outside,” he added.