Virat Kohli, who did not understand the impact while leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, said it was a great tribute to his long-time IPL teammate AB de Villiers.
Kohli ended his nine-year tenure as RCB captain with a four-wicket defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 Indian Premier League eliminator in Sharjah on Monday.
Before the start of the IPL UAE leg, Kohli said he would step down as RCB captain at the end of the season.
“I have been here all these years as Virat Captain and I think the word that comes to mind is ‘thank you’. We are so lucky to have you at the front,” de Villiers said in a video posted by the franchise.
“The way you led this team inspired everyone, inspired me to get better as a player and as a person. You had such a huge impact that you could never understand, it went miles away. There were even stories you heard about the lives of the people you touched.”
Since taking over as RCB captain in 2013, Kohli has led the team to the play-offs four times, including the last two seasons and the final in 2016.
Kohli led the RCB in 140 matches, winning 66 and losing 70. Four games gave no results.
De Villiers said Kohli’s contribution as captain or batsman would go beyond that.
“I know you are on the field but I’m far from it. You make people believe in themselves. It’s more important than winning a trophy. I still believe it will get in your way,” said the versatile South African cricketer.
During their eliminator against KKR, field umpire Virender Sharma fired back from the RCB captain after the Knight Riders made a poor lbw decision in the innings.
“You did a great job, but that book is not finished yet. Whatever you do for us, we will never forget it. Thanks for all the memories, and I think some umpires sleep a little better, they’re so happy,” de Villiers said lightly. Mentioning the call.
#RCBvKKR Dressing Room Emotions
The abrupt end to the fine season campaign, Virat Kohli’s last match as RCB’s full-time captain, the team inspiration that brought us here, – raw emotions in the dressing room at our end # IPL2021 Travel.https://t.co/UstexXNKIA# Playbold
– Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCBTweets) October 12, 2021
On his side, Kohli thanked his teammates and said they could “hold their heads up”.
“It was not the result we wanted but I’m very proud of the role the boys showed throughout the tournament. It was a disappointing ending but we can hold our heads. Thanks to all the fans, management & support staff for your continued support,” Kohli wrote on his Twitter handle.
Not the result we wanted but I am very proud of the role the boys showed throughout the tournament. Disappointing ending but we can hold our heads. Thank you to all the fans, management & support staff for your continued support. I. RCBTweets pic.twitter.com/VxZLc5NKAG
– Virat Kohli (imVkohli) October 12, 2021