Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) rather eventful 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) fizzled out on Wednesday with a 81-run loss to Mumbai Indians at the Chepauk Stadium in the Eliminator. While fiery Afghanistan all-rounder was the star for LSG during MI’s innings, taking four wickets for 38 runs, Lucknow wilted to Akash Madhwal’s sensational spell of 5/5 and were all out for 101 runs in reply to a score of 182/8.
LSG have since been swamped by trolls, particularly directed at Naveen, who had celebrated his wickets by shutting his ears. The franchise on Thursday posted on their twitter handle that they had taken a few measures to shield themselves from the trolling. “Issued in our interest,” it said in the post alongwith a screenshot of the terms that they have blocked from their Twitter mentions.
The “mango” can be traced back to when Naveen has been making headlines for reasons outside of his performances. Naveen famously got into an altercation first with Mohammed Siraj and then with Virat Kohli in LSG’s heated league match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on May 1. The pair argued after the match ended while shaking hands as well which eventually led to Kohli facing off with LSG’s team mentor and former India batter Gautam Gambhir.
Since that game, Gambhir and Naveen have been greeted with Kohli chants at nearly every stadium that LSG have played and by away fans in Lucknow. Naveen never really let go of the feud, posting a photo of a mangoes with a clip of him celebrating the wicket of Rohit Sharma with the caption “sweet mangoes”. Naveen had made the post just as Kohli was dismissed for one run in a match against MI at the time, which led to many fans considering this Instagram story of Naveen as a dig on the former India captain. Meanwhile, MI fans themselves were not too happy as they thought this is a slight on their captain Rohit as it was a photo of Naveen celebrating the 35-year-old’s wicket.
This meant that LSG and Naveen have been swamped by taunts related to mangoes ever since their heavy defeat to MI on Wednesday. Even the MI players Vishnu Vinod, Sandeep Warrier, and Kumar Kartikeya came up in a post on social media in which they emulated the three wise monkeys with mangoes kept in front of them and captioned the photo: “Sweet season of mangoes”. It seemed to have been posted by Warrier and was later deleted.