Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli spoke about his friendship with former teammate AB de Villers and recalled the moment when the South African revealed that he was set to retire. Kohli and de Villiers shared the RCB dressing room for 11 years in the IPL until last year.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers shared the same dressing room at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for 11 years in the Indian Premier League (IPL) until last year, when the South African decided to bid adieu. Kohli, the former RCB captain, spoke about how much of an influence de Villiers had on him.
De Villiers played 184 IPL matches, aggregating 5162 runs at an average of 39.71 and a strike rate of 151.69. Prior to the start of IPL 2022, he called time on his illustrious career in November last year. Kohli said “he will remember ABD if RCB wins the title” this year.
Kohli recalled the moment when he heard from de Villiers that he would not be playing for RCB anymore. Speaking on RCB's official website, Kohli said he was emotional when he heard the news from his partner in crime.
When asked about how he feels without De Villiers around, Kohli said that he recieved a vvoice note from De Villiers informing his decision.
“It is very strange, I mean. I clearly remember when he decided to finally call it a day, he sent me a voice note. And, I still remember we were coming back from Dubai after the World Cup, and I got this voice note, and we were driving back home. I got the voice note, I opened it and listened to it. Anushka was with me and I looked at her like this," Kohli stated.
“The first thing she said was, don’t tell me. She knew. I kind of had the impression during the last IPL. He kept telling me, our rooms were next to each other. I want to see you for coffee one of these days. I kept getting nervous, I was like I am not sitting with you, I think there’s something coming."
“He said ‘I just want to sit and chat with you, it’s been a while.’ And he never speaks like that, you know, because we interact all the time. I knew something was brewing up. It’s a very strange feeling, I got very emotional, the voice note was very emotional as well for me when he said I don’t have it in me anymore."
Speaking about his personal experience with De Villiers at RCB, Kohli stated that he shared many moments with the South African cricketer
“I have shared so many moments with him, highs and lows, everything, he’s been right next to me through thick and thin. I was thinking about him the other day that if we manage to win the title in the coming seasons, this one, next one, whatever it is. I would be very emotional thinking about him first, rather than you know what I would experience after such hard work of so many years," he revealed.
“I would actually think how much it would still mean to him, watching from home. He’s a special human being, he’s touched everyone’s lives here, we can all vouch for that, he’s been amazing. I don’t think there’s one person who can say AB has not contributed to my life some way or the other."
RCB, under their new skipper Faf du Plessis, began IPL 2022 with a five-wicket defeat against Punjab Kings at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai. They will next meet the last season’s finalists Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue on Wednesday (March 30).