Mumbai, March 29: Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli said he would be “very excited” thinking about AB de Villiers if the team wins its first Indian Premier League (IPL) title this season.
Kohli and De Villiers shared an 11-year link at RCB before the South African decided to call it a day, announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket late last year. The former SA all-format player also played for Delhi Capitals (Delhi Daredevils) between 2008 and 2010, but moved to RCB in 2011 and remained with the franchise until his retirement.
He played 184 IPL matches, scoring 5,162 runs at an average of 39.71 and a strike rate of 151.69.
Speaking on RCB Bold Diaries, an emotional Kohli said: “The other day, it got me thinking, if we manage to win the title in the next few seasons (2022), I’d be really excited thinking about him (de Villiers) first. Instead of what would experience after working so hard for so many years, she would actually think of him.
“It would mean a lot to him even if he’s watching the game from home. He’s a special human being as he’s touched everyone, and we can all attest to that. He’s been amazing and I don’t think there’s one person who can say that AB de Villiers has not contributed to their lives one way or another,” said Kohli, who stepped down as RCB skipper after the 2021 IPL season.
Kohli shared an anecdote when he received the news of de Villiers’ retirement.
“It’s very strange, I mean, I distinctly remember when he finally decided to call it a day. He sent me a voice note; we were coming back from Dubai after the World Cup (T20). I got a voice note from AB de Villiers while we were driving home I opened it and as I listened to it I looked at Anushka in shock.
“My face fell at what she questioned, I showed her the message and voice memo from AB and she exclaimed ‘Don’t tell me!’ She knew. I had the impression and was guessing at the last IPL Our Rooms they were right next to each other, and we walked the same way and spread out, every time we walked to our room and he saw me outside, he’d say, ‘I want to see you for coffee, one of these days.’
“I kept getting nervous and I was like ‘I’m not going to sit with you because I think something is coming’ to which he always said: ‘No man, there’s nothing, I just want to have a chat with you’, it’s been a while and he he never talks like that because we interact all the time.
“So, I knew something was brewing. It’s a very strange feeling that made me very emotional. The voice memo was also very emotional for me when he said, ‘Look, I don’t have it in me anymore.’ I’ve shared so many moments with him. , ups and downs, everything we’ve been through was right by my side,” Kohli added.