Virat Kohli has been a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) set-up ever since the inception of the IPL in 2008. He was signed by the franchise during that year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, which India had eventually won under his captaincy.
According to the IPL draft policy, every franchise had the option of picking two U-19 players but Kohli said nobody had belief in his abilities back then besides RCB, whom he went on to lead later in his career.
“What this franchise has given me in terms of opportunities in the first three years and believed in me that is the most special thing because as I said there are many teams who had the opportunity, but they didn't back me, they didn't believe in me,” Kohli said on RCB’s franchisee show on Star Sports.
Back in 2008, fans were expecting that the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) would opt for the local lad Virat but to everyone’s surprise, the franchise ignored the U-19 World Cup-winning skipper and instead preferred his then-teammate Pradeep Sangwan.
Playing for RCB, however, Kohli proved his mettle season after season and he was eventually named the captain of the side in 2013. He led the franchise till 2021 despite not winning the title even once.
Before being retained by RCB ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction, Kohli had said that he would like to end his career with the Bangalore-based franchise.
“To be very honest I thought about it. Yes, I won't shy away from it and I have been approached many times as well to come into the auction somehow, put my name there and stuff. And then I thought about it, I was like at the end of the day everyone has X numbers of years that they live and then you die and life moves on.
“There would have been many great people who won trophies but no one addresses you like that. No one addresses you in the room like 'Oh he's an IPL champion or he's a World Cup champion. It's like if you are a good person, people like you, if you're a bad guy, they just stay away from you and eventually that's what life is all about,” Kohli said.
Talking about his bond with RCB, Virat Kohli further said: “For me the understanding that the loyalty with RCB like how I follow my life is far greater for me than the fact that five people in the room will say Oh finally you win the IPL with whoever xyz. You feel good for five minutes but then sixth minute you could be miserable with some other issues in the life. So it is not the end of the world for me.”
The IPL trophy may have eluded Kohli but he has no regrets.
"So now when I am successful and I should fall to the opinion of people saying 'but' the IPL. This was the case with me till 2018 England tour happened. For four years of my life I was doing well everywhere in the world, the only thing was 'but England'. So there are always going to be 'but', you literally can't live your life like that and I just carry out doing my own things and I actually honestly don't even bother about a third person beyond myself and Anushka discussing things and just being true to ourselves and that's it. For me nothing else or no one else’s opinion matters at all,” he added.