The love and loyalty of the fans will never let him leave Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) till the time he is playing IPL, skipper Virat Kohli said on Friday.
RCB have reached the IPL final thrice but have never won the trophy.
During a live session on Instagram with former South Africa captain and RCB teammate AB de Villiers, Kohli said winning the T20 tournament remains the goal but he would not leave the team irrespective of the results.
“It has been such an amazing journey. Winning the IPL together is always going to be our dream. There is no scenario where I could think of leaving the team ever.
“You can feel emotional about the season not going well, but till the time I am playing IPL, I am never leaving this team. The fans, their loyalty has been amazing,” said the India skipper.
Kohli has been with the RCB since 2008, the inaugural year.
Responding to Kohli’s feelings towards RCB, De Villiers too acknowledged the support of fans. “Same for me. I never want to leave RCB, but to do that I got to keep scoring runs. I am not the captain you see,” said the South African in jest.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the “indefinite” suspension of the 13th IPL, which was supposed to start last month, but Kohli said he is still hopeful of the event happening at some stage.
“We have no clarity at this moment but I am optimistic that at some stage we will have something,” he said.
The two modern greats also picked their combined South Africa and India ODI team. Here’s how it looked: Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn, Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada.
Kohli and De Villiers will auction their cricketing gears, including the bats with which they scored hundreds for RCB during an IPL match in 2016, to raise funds for the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
The items to be auctioned also include their respective gloves and shirts from that particular game — against Gujarat Lions. RCB had won the match by 144 runs.
“The plan is to get it on an online auction platform (bidorbuy.co.za). It could be a nice collector’s item. We both can share a picture of that game. People can go and bid and all the proceeds can go for the Covid-19 cause both in India and South Africa… Particularly, for the cause of getting meals on people’s table. We can make it 50-50 and support the cause in memory of that day,” De Villiers, who made 129 in that game, said.
Kohli, who had scored 109 in that match, said he would give away anything for the cause. “It is an amazing gesture from you… For this cause, I will give anything away,” he told De Villiers.