Senior Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Virat Kohli paid a heartening commendation to former club teammates AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.
On Tuesday (May 17), the duo was inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame for their tremendous amount of service to the franchise.
The journey of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Virat Kohli at RCB
Kohli formed a great troika with West Indies swashbuckling batter and South Africa’s Mr 360° from 2011 to 2017.
Gayle stayed with RCB until 2017 before moving to Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings). De Villiers, who was the lynchpin of the RCB batting order for the last decade, retired from all forms of the game in November 2021.
De Villiers (4522) and Gayle (3420) are the second and third most run-scorers of the franchise after Kohli (6943). Both the players are touted to change the tactics of T20 cricket and their combination served as a nightmare to the bowlers.
It’s truly special for me to be doing this for the both of you: Virat Kohli to Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers
Kohli, who announced both of his closest friends into the RCB Hall of Fame, lavished praise on the duo and shared his personal moments with them during their IPL days.
“It’s truly special for me to be doing this for the both of you. We have seen how you’ve changed the way the IPL has been played over the years.
“Two people who have had a huge impact in IPL being where it is today and to bring RCB to where it is today. I’ve played for 11 years with AB de Villiers whereas seven with Chris Gayle,” Kohli said in his speech during the event.
“Both the journeys started in 2011 which for me will be the most special year. I met both of you in 2011, I started playing with both of you and RCB got to experience the brilliance of both of you guys for so many years.
“I remember a few memories of playing together which always stands out for me. With AB, they are from the 2016 seasons, both against Gujarat, where in one game we had that massive partnership together which was amazing.
“I saw first-hand close up how brilliant he is and I was astonished. I couldn’t believe what I had seen. The second memory is when we were struggling the same year and AB took us home,” he added.
Kohli is the only player who is still playing for the franchise since its inception in IPL 2008.