Kohli to step down as RCB captain after IPL 2021

Virat Kohli to step down as RCB captain after IPL 2021

Kohli said he will continue to be a part of the RCB squad

Virat Kohli. Credit: PTI Photo

Just days after announcing that he would be stepping down as the T20 skipper of the Indian team post the T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli said he will be relinquishing his post as the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore after this edition of the Indian Premier League.

The 32-year-old, however, emphasised that he would continue to be with the Bengaluru franchise as long as he plays in the IPL.

Kohli, who has been with Royal Challengers right from the first edition in 2008 and as full-time captain since 2013, cited workload management as the reason behind his decision. “Spoken to the squad this evening. Before the second leg of the tournament starts, (I want) to inform everyone that this is going to be my last leg in the IPL as captain of RCB. Spoke to the management this evening, something that was on my mind for a while,” a cheerful looking Kohli said in a video posted by the franchise on social media which immediately went viral.

“As I recently announced stepping down from T20 captaincy as well to manage my workload which has been immense over the last so many years. I want to be committed to the responsibilities that I am fulfilling and I felt I needed the space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward and also understating that RCB is going to go through a big transitional phase with the big auction coming in next year.”

Kohli, who has amassed 6,076 runs in 199 IPL games with five centuries and 40 half-centuries, however stated that he will remain committed to the franchise. “I’ve made it clear to the management that I can’t think of being in any other team than RCB and that has been my commitment from day one. I will continue to be a RCB player till I play my last game in the IPL. But, it’s been a great journey of nine years of joy, frustration, moments of happiness and sadness.

“And I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and believing in me relentlessly and unconditionally. And I will continue to be committed to play for this franchise till the last day of me playing IPL, for you guys, the fans, because of what you have done and how you have made me feel over the last so many years. That is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you so much. This is just a little halt, not the end of the journey. The journey will continue and will continue like it has for so many years,” the 32-year-old Kohli concluded.

RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra thanked Kohli, the franchise’s most successful player, for his immense contribution. “Virat Kohli is one of the finest cricketers and has been a true asset to RCB. His impeccable work ethics and leadership skills has been phenomenal. We respect and support this decision and would like to thank Virat for his incredible contribution to the RCB leadership group. He has left an indelible mark on the franchise and will continue to be a senior member of the team.”

While Kohli has led the Indian Test team to unprecedented success, thanks in large part to a world-class bowling attack, he has found it hard to replicate the same with RCB. Although personally he has played many an exceptional knock, the lack of depth in batting in the team and an ordinary bowling attack has seen the franchise struggle consistently. A runner-up position in 2016 is the best they could achieve under him.

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