Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pacer Naveen-ul-Haq has been subjected to incessant taunting and chants of 'Kohli, Kohli' by fans in the IPL 2023. The controversy ignited after a heated exchange with RCB's stalwart Virat Kohli during their match on May 1 in Lucknow. Since then, fans have taken it upon themselves to taunt Naveen whenever he takes the field, but the player has managed to maintain his composure.
Naveen relishes chanting of opposition players
During the Eliminator match against Mumbai Indians (MI), the crowd persisted with their taunts as Naveen received the ball. However, he swiftly silenced the chants by dismissing MI opener Rohit Sharma with a fantastic catch at cover. In a symbolic gesture, Naveen celebrated by placing two fingers in his ears, metaphorically shutting out the noise. This back-and-forth banter between the crowd and Naveen became a highlight of the first innings.
When questioned about the relentless chants, Naveen expressed his enjoyment of the lively atmosphere, mentioning that it only fueled his passion to perform at his best for the team. He emphasised the importance for professional athletes to handle such situations and not allow external distractions to impact their game.
"I enjoy it (chanting)," Naveen said in the post-match press conference. "I like that everybody in the ground is chanting his name, or any other player's name. It gives me passion to play well for my team.
"I don't concentrate on the outside noise. I just focus on my own cricket. It's not like if the crowd is chanting or anyone is saying something... it doesn't affect me. As professional sportsmen, you have to take it in your stride. One day you will not do your best for the team and these fans are going to give it to you. On another day, you'll do a special thing for your team and the same people are going to chant your name," Naveen added.
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