You can read a lot or very little into the on-field spat between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli the other night depending on the context. Sreesanth, who went into overdrive on social media because of comparisons made with ‘slap-gate’ of 2008, obviously falls in the former category.
I sympathise with Sreesanth.
In my opinion, he was unfairly treated in the ugly episode in 2008 only because Harbhajan Singh was a big star then, and more pertinently still, the IPL was in its first season.
It could have been awkward for the player himself and the IPL if the matter had not been quickly defused though Justice (retired) Sudhir Nanavati, who probed the incident had found Harbhajan to be guilty.
Bitter Sreesanth rants about Slapgate on Twitter
Interestingly, Nanavati says the genesis of slapgate was not something that transpired between Sreesanth and Harbhajan that day, but in a domestic game played the year before!
Human nature is fragile and conflict resolution has to be managed in a mature manner, leaving no embers alive which can turn into a fire in the future. This is where Kohli and Gambhir need to learn from the fracas involving Sreesanth and Harbhajan.
But I think that Sreesanth has overreacted in tweeting away extensively to explain his position five years later simply because the media drew parallels with Kohli versus Gambhir circa 2013. In that sense, he has brought attention on himself.
If Sreesanth’s problem is with the media — or the IPL Governing Council — for not getting to the bottom of the case, he could have come clear much earlier.
By raking it up now, he is doing himself a disservice.
To get to the recent incident, there is some talk that all is not hunky-dory between Kohli and Gambhir since the former has replaced the latter as the vice-captain of the Indian team.
Some alarmists also argue that this spells trouble for the Indian dressing room.
I don’t read too much into these theories as long as this is not allowed to foment. Frankly, I don’t see much harm in players venting their emotions as long as it does not get into physical violence or unacceptable abuse.
Competitive sport can’t be a sanitised activity. The stakes are high. Such are the demands on players that they are constantly on edge, the adrenaline is pumping and emotions can sometimes spill over.
The writer is a seasoned journalist. Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved. (TAG: CYCSPL)