An ugly on-field spat between former India cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth or S Sreesanth is not showing any signs of de-escalating, with the former's wife joining the Kerala-born cricketer in slamming the 2011 World Cup winner on Thursday.
During a Legends League Cricket match in Surat on Wednesday, S Sreesanth and Gautam Gambhir gave a long stare at each other after the latter hit the former for a six and four in an over, though it is known yet what triggered these reactions.
In video footage making the rounds on Twitter, rebranded as X, S Sreesanth gave a long stare to Gautam Gambhir after the Delhi-born cricketer took him to the cleaners.
Gautam Gambhir shot back at S Sreesanth with a stare back.
In another video, S Sreesanth and Gautam Gambhir charged at each other.
Later, in a video posted on his Instagram page, S Sreesanth revealed that Gautam Gambhir called him a fixer.
“I have not used a single bad word or used a single abusive word to him. I only said, “What are you saying? What are you saying?” In fact, I kept laughing in a sarcastic way because he kept calling me “Fixer, fixer, you are a fixer, F*** off fixer”. This is the language that was used.” Sreesanth said in an Instagram post. “When they were trying to control him, he kept on calling me fixer,” the former India fast bowler said.
In a previous social media post, S Sreesanth claimed he was not responsible for the spat.
“I am not at all at fault here. I just wanted to clear the air straight away. What Mr Gauti has done, sooner or later all of you will get to know. The words which he used and the things he said on a cricket field, live, is not acceptable. My family, my state, everybody has gone through so much. I fought that battle with all your support. Now people want to down me for no reason. Even when my team is doing well, he said things he shouldn't have said. I will surely let you know what he said,” he noted.
“What's the point of representing people if you don't respect your own colleagues? Even in live broadcasting when he is asked about Virat, he never speaks about him, he speaks about something else. I don't want to go further in detail. Just want to say I am very hurt and my family is hurt and my dear ones are hurt. And the way he said things…. Just want to I haven't used a single bad word or a single abuse, nothing. He just kept on saying words which he always does,” he added.
After S Sreesanth's revelations, his wife, Bhuvneshwari Sreesanth, also had some harsh words for Gautam Gambhir.
“It is so shocking to hear from Sree that a player who has played for India with him for many years can stoop to this level. Even after so many years of retirement from Active cricket. After all upbringing matters a lot and it shows up when these kind of behaviour comes up on ground. Shocking truly shocking,” Bhuvneshwari Sreesanth wrote on Instagram.
Gambhir's alleged usage of the phrase “fixer” to describe S Sreesanth is due to his involvement in the ugly Indian Premier League spot-fixing episode in 2013.
Subsequently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) banned him from all forms of the sport. Following a lengthy court battle, the Indian Cricket Board allowed him to return to action in 2021.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time Gautam Gambhir's attitude has created a stir on social media.
More often than not, Virat Kohli's fans have accused him of bias against the former India captain. They claim he repeatedly criticizes Virat Kohli despite his excellent performances for the national team.
For instance, Gautam Gambhir criticized Virat Kohli for his batting approach during his record-equalling 49th ODI ton against South Africa in last month's Cricket World Cup.
“It was important for Kohli to bat deep and I feel it was at the end, just the last 5-6 overs where he slowed down a bit, maybe because he was nearing a century. But I believe there were already enough runs on the board. It could have hurt India if they were batting on a good pitch,” Gautam Gambhir said at the time.
Gautam Gambhir's words appeared to back veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez's controversial statement about Virat Kohli.
Mohammad Hafeez labeled Virat Kohli selfish because the talismanic India batter was not playing for his team but for milestones.
“I saw sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli's batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, he was looking to take a single to reach his own hundred and he didn't put the team first,” Mohammad Hafeez said on a Pakistani television channel.