MUMBAI: Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has said that he would be “very emotional” thinking about AB de Villiers if the team wins its maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title this season.
Kohli and De Villiers shared an 11-year-long bond 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 had a stint with Delhi Capitals (Delhi Daredevils) between 2008 and 2010, but moved to RCB in 2011 and remained with the franchise till his retirement.
He played 184 IPL games, 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 coming seasons (2022), I would be very emotional thinking about him (de Villiers) first. Rather than what I would experience after such hard work of so many years, I would actually think of him.
“It would still mean a lot to him even if he is watching the game from home. He is a special human being as he has touched everyone, and we all can vouch for that. He has been amazing, and I don’t think there is one person who can say that AB de Villiers has not contributed to their lives in some way or the other,” 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 retiring.
“It’s very strange I mean, I clearly remember when he decided to finally call it a day. He sent me a voice note; we were coming back from Dubai after the (T20) World Cup. I got a voice note from AB de Villiers while we were driving back home. I opened it and while I was listening to it, I looked at Anushka in shock.
“My face fell to which she questioned, I showed her the message and the voice note from AB and she exclaimed, ‘Don’t tell me!’. She knew. I kind of had the impression and was guessing it in the last IPL. Our rooms were next to each other, and we would walk the same way and disperse, every time we walked to our room and he would see me outside, he would be like ‘I want to see you for coffee, one of these days’.
“I kept getting nervous and was like ‘I am not sitting with you because I think there is something coming’ to which he always said, ‘No man there is nothing, I just want to have a chat with you’, it’s been a while and he never speaks like that because we interact all the time.
“So, I knew something is brewing up. It is a very strange feeling I got very emotional. The voice note was very emotional as well for me when he said, ‘Look I don’t have it in me anymore’. I have shared so many moments with him, highs and lows, everything we have been through he was right next to me,” added Kohli.