Virat Kohli has revealed that he had discussions with AB de Villiers on quitting Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captaincy in 2019. Earlier, ahead of the first match in the second phase of IPL 2021, Kohli had announced his decision to step down as RCB captain after the end of season.
Ahead of the first league match in the second leg of IPL 2021, Virat Kohli had announced that he will make way for a new captain for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli also added that he will continue as an RCB player till his last game in IPL. The Bangalore-based franchise have already qualified for the playoffs and are currently placed third in the points table.
Speaking to Star Sports ahead of RCB’s last league match against Delhi Capitals on Friday, Virat Kohli revealed that he discussed with AB de Villiers about giving up the RCB captaincy in 2019. He further added that the restructuring of the management made him rethink about quitting the captaincy.
"About this decision, I had spoken to AB in 2019. It's not new. With the IPL, I was always in a space where I wanted to create a peaceful environment.. We had this discussion and then I thought we will give it one more year. A restructuring of the management happened and things were much better in 2020. I felt a little more relaxed in that stage," Virat Kohli said on Star Sports.
Meanwhile, AB de Villiers stated that he was privileged to have played Kohli, adding that the 32-year-old has always led from the front and made the best decisions for the team.
"Virat Kohli has had an unbelievable run as captain. I am privileged to play under him. I have been a fan of him letting it go for the last few years purely because of the pressure he has taken on board over the years with the Indian team and the IPL," Ab de Villiers said.
"I felt that this could be an environment where he could have a little bit of fun. Sort of step away from Indian cricket and have a little bit of fun in the T20s in the IPL with all the friends and then go into the high-pressure environment with India in all the formats.
"That's been the chat for the last couple of years. It's got nothing to do with his ability as captain. We all know that, he has been unbelievable for us. He has always led from the front and made the best possible decisions for the team and I think he has had a fantastic run.
"I would absolutely love to put the cherry on the cake and finish the season with a trophy."
Virat Kohli was appointed as RCB's regular captain in 2013, and guided the team to the finals in the 2016 season, when they went down to Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team reached the play-offs in the IPL 2020, but failed to reach the finals after losing to SRH in the eliminator.