Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli has revealed that he was “approached a few times” by few IPL franchises in the past to put himself in the auction but he preferred to stay at Royal Challengers Bangalore. The former India captain, who stepped down as RCB skipper at the end of last season after eight years in charge, is the only cricketer to have played for one franchise since the league’s inaugural edition in 2008. “I’ve been approached a few times as well — to come into the auction somehow — I have thought about it,” Kohli told the RCB podcast.
“At the end of the day, a person lives a certain number of years, and then you die and life moves on. There have been many great players who have won trophies and things like that but no one addresses you like that.
“If you are a good person, people like you and if you are a bad guy, they stay away from you. Eventually, that’s what life is all about.”
The 33-year-old Kohli has played innumerable match-winning knocks for RCB, who have always boasted star-studded lineups, but could still never win the IPL.
“The loyalty with RCB, like how I follow my life, is far greater than five people saying you’ve finally won the IPL with XYZ. You feel good for five minutes and then the sixth minute you could be miserable with some other issue in life.
“What this franchise has given to me in the first three years, and believed in me, is the most special thing. There were many teams who had the opportunity. They didn’t back me and they didn’t believe in me.”
Speaking about his time as the franchise’s captain, Kohli said losing the IPL final in 2016 still rankles.
Chasing 209, RCB had raced to 114 for no loss at the half-way mark before losing their way and falling eight runs short, bringing to an end their incredible season on a sad note.
“That game, I felt like it was written. How could the finals be in Bangalore, and we played that kind of season, and we play that kind of a game where we are 100 for no loss in nine overs.
“Even KL (Rahul), to this day, if there’s a highlight package running, he takes a screenshot and says it still hurts. It does. You had these dejected faces sitting in that amazing victory setup that we had done for the post-victory celebration. That is one game where I feel like it hurts.”
The star batter added, “It disappoints me. We had opportunities where we came close. At the end of the day, I am not going to call it luck.
“The opposition is there to play as well and if they are better on the day, you have to accept it that we haven’t been as courageous or as clear in our plans as we should have been in those crunch moments.
“You could say that the odds were stacked against us – the only expectation was for us to win – but you have to deal with those. You can’t run away from that.”
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