An emotional Virat Kohli paid a rich tribute to South African great and his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate AB de Villiers announced retirement from all cricket.
“To the best player of our times and the most inspirational person I’ve met, you can be very proud of what you’ve done and what you’ve given to RCB my brother. Our bond is beyond the game and will always be. This hurts my heart but I know you’ve made the best decision for yourself and your family as you’ve always done. I love you @ABdeVilliers17,” Kohli posted on his Twitter handle.
AB de Villiers is the second-highest scorer in the history of the RCB franchise, having scored 4522 runs in 145 innings at an average of 41.10. Kohli leads the chart with 6707 runs.
It is the end of an era for the franchise as Kohli has also stepped down from the role of captain after the end of the 2021 season. While Kohli might be retained by the franchise, de Villiers’ retirement will leave a gaping hole in the middle order and the franchise will have to work hard in the upcoming auction to find a suitable replacement if there could be one.
de Villiers lit up the IPL over the years with his astonishing ability to play 360-degree shots and put up an exhibition of attacking batting. He and Kohli reached the final twice, in 2011 and 2016, but failed to win the title.