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RCB retain Kohli, Gayle & De Villiers

Calcutta: Royal Challengers Bangalore have decided to retain Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers for the upcoming IPL season, besides announcing the appointment of former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori as their head coach.

The RCB, expectedly, have retained their batting nucleus in the form of Gayle, Kohli and De Villiers for the seventh edition of the IPL.

While Kohli has been representing the Bangalore-based franchise since the inaugural edition, Gayle and De Villiers joined the Vijay Mallya-owned side in 2011 from Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi DareDevils, respectively.

Besides appointing former New Zealand and RCB captain Vettori as the head coach, former South African fast bowler Allan Donald has been roped in as the bowling coach. Australia’s Trent Woodhill will be the batting and fielding coach.

“Having been closely associated with RCB for the last three years, I’m very excited by the opportunity to work with this exceptional brand and Virat in delivering on RCB’s true potential. My first area of focus will be to work closely with the management in developing team composition strategy for the IPL auction,” Vettori said in a media release.

Donald, who coached Pune Warriors in the last edition, said RCB have the capability to bag their maiden title.

“I have followed RCB very closely in previous editions of the IPL and believe they have the potential to go all the way. I hope my experience will guide them in getting there,” Donald said.

Kohli, too, is very excited. “I am happy and honoured to be retained by RCB and it’s great to be back to Bangalore, literally my second home now… Am looking forward to working closely with the new head coach Dan Vettori.

“Bowling coach Donald’s experience will add a lot of value. Together with my other retained mates Chris and AB and the rest of the team, I hope to fulfil the faith that RCB and the fans of Bangalore have reposed in me,” said Kohli.

“Home Again!! I am happy to be retained by RCB and looking forward to the love and affection… Bangalore, here I come again and let’s rock!!!!” was Gayle’s reaction.

Vettori, who has been plagued by injuries of late, had led the team before Kohli. He replaced Ray Jennings, who had coached Royal Challengers for several seasons.