AB de Villiers, who was one of the key players of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) since 2011, is not playing in this year’s Indian Premier League. And, the former captain Virat Kohli is certainly missing him. However, de Villiers has played 184 matches in the tournament, amassing 5162 runs at an average of 39.71 and a strike rate of 151.69. Before this year’s tournament, he announced his retirement in November 2021.
Former RCB skipper Virat Kohli has recently relived the moment when he got to know from De Villiers that he wouldn’t be playing anymore. While speaking on RCB’s ‘Bold Diaries’, Kohli said that he was emotional when he heard the news. “It’s very strange. I clearly remember when he decided to finally call it a day. He sent me a voice note. I still remember we were coming back after the World Cup from Dubai, and I got a voice note. And I opened it and I listened to it. Anushka (Sharma) was with me, and I looked at her like this, and my face fell. She was like ‘What?’ I showed her the message, I showed her the WhatsApp chat and the voice note from AB de Villiers. And the first thing she said was ‘Don’t tell me’. She knew,” he said.
He also added that De Villiers’ behaviour during IPL 2021 made him feel like it was the last IPL as well.
“I kind of had the impression or I kind of was guessing it in the last IPL. Because he kept telling me – our rooms were next to each other, and we would walk the same way and then disperse – and every time I walked to my room, he’d see me outside, he’d be like ‘I wanna see you for coffee one of these days’. And I kept getting nervous; I was like ‘I’m not sitting with you, I think there’s something coming,’ and he said ‘No man, there’s nothing. I just wanna sit and have a chat with you, it’s been a while’, and he never speaks like that, we interact all the time. So I knew something’s brewing up,” Virat Kohli again added.
However, Kohli and De Villiers’ bond was really special. The duo’s partnerships on the field have ensured RCB win the games many times as well. And, this time, Kohli too has given up the captaincy and playing under Faf du Plessis. They have started with a defeat against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) as well. They will next play against KKR in their second IPL 2022 game at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai on Wednesday (March 30).
“It’s a very strange feeling. I got very emotional, and the voice note was very emotional for me when he said, ‘Look, I don’t have it in me anymore’. I’ve shared so many moments with him – highs and lows – he’s been right next to me through thick and thin,” Kohli said.”I was actually thinking about it the other day. If we manage to win the title in the coming seasons – this one, next one, whatever it is – I would be very emotional thinking about him first. Rather than what I would experience after such hard work of so many years, I would actually think of him, how much it’d still mean to him, watching from home. He’s a special human being, he’s touched everyone’s lives here. We can all vouch for that, he’s been amazing. I don’t think there’s one person here who can say ‘AB has not contributed to my life in some way or the other’,” Virat Kohli concluded.