Naveen-ul-Haq has developed a habit of grabbing headlines in IPL 2023. And this is not just because of his bowling, which has been pretty impressive – he has picked up 11 wickets in 8 matches for Lucknow Super Giants in his debut season. Naveen has somehow managed to get the under the skin of many cricketers and also the fans. Ever since his on-field scuffle with Virat Kohli during an IPL 2023 league stage match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Afghanistan pacer has somehow managed to hog the limelight either with his social media posts or quirky celebrations after picking up wickets or taking catches.
On Wednesday, in the IPL 2023 Eliminator between LSG and MI, Naveen put up a valiant show with the ball, picking up the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Cameron Green, and Tilak Varma to end up with figures of 4/38 in his four overs. However, that wasn’t enough as MI pacer Akash Madhwal showcased an even better performance with the ball, picking up 5 wickets for just 5 runs to lead MI to Qualifier 2 with a whopping 81-run win at Chepauk.
Apart from his bowling, Naveen kept the crowd entertained with his finger-to-the-ears celebrations but it was his “sweet mangoes” Instagram story that came to haunt him after LSG’s defeat in the Eliminator. Mumbai Indians cricketers Vishnu Vinod, Sandeep Warrier, and Kimar Kartikeya took an indirect dig at Naveen after MI’s win. They emulated the three wise monkeys with mangoes kept in front of them and captioned the photo: “Sweet season of mangoes”.
MI cricketers delete post targeting Naveen after MI beat LSG in IPL 2023 Eliminator
The photo was deleted later but not before screenshots of the same went viral on social media. It was evident that Warrier, Kartikeya, and Vinod were taking a jibe at Naveen, who had posted a photograph of mangoes in the backdrop of MI’s match against RCB. He put out an Instagram story with the caption “sweet mangoes” immediately after Kohli was dismissed in that match. The LSG pacer did not stop there, he posted another story when MI defeated RCB in that match.
As far as the match was concerned, Batting first, MI posted 182/8 on the board. Cameron Green (41), Suryakumar Yadav (33) and Nehal Wadhera (23) played useful knocks for MI.
LSG was dismissed for 101 in 16.3 overs, with Akash Madhwal taking 5/5 in 3.3 overs. Marcus Stoinis scored 40 runs.
It’s a pity that Naveen won’t take further part in this year’s IPL as LSG have been knocked out of the tournament. But the 23-year-old from Afghanistan has more than made his mark in the richest cricket league in the world.