Don't have it anymore: Virat Kohli reveals AB de Villiers' first words before retirement call
AB de Villiers retired from all formats of cricket in November 2021
He and Virat Kohli played together for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for 11 seasons
Kohli and De Villiers have often talked publicly about their friendship and respect for each other
Virat Kohli, former Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, revealed that AB de Villiers sent him a voice note before calling his retirement in November 2021. The two played, together, for the 2016 runners-up for 11 seasons before the South African hung his boots from all forms of cricket.
Kohli and De Villiers have often talked publicly about their friendship and respect for each other.
“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 like you’ve always done. I love you," Kohli had tweeted after De Villiers retired.
In the latest edition of the RCB Bold Diaries, Kohli said that if Royal Challengers Bangalore were crown champions for the first time in the coming seasons it would mean a lot to AB de Villiers. In fact, the Protea would be the first person on the former captain's mind after the triumph.
In 156 matches for RCB, De Villiers scored 4491 runs at an average of 39.70. The 38-year-old scored 37 fifties and two centuries in the 11 seasons.
"The other day, it got me thinking, if we manage to win the title in the coming seasons, 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. It would still mean a lot to him even if he is watching the game from home. He is a special human being as he has touched everyone, and we all can vouch for that," Kohli said.
The 33-year-old, who stepped down as RCB skipper after the 2021 season, added that De Villiers had sent him a voice note before making the announcemnt.
"It's very strange I mean, I clearly remember when he decided to finally call it a day. He sent me a voice note, we were coming back from Dubai after the World Cup. I got a voice note from AB de Villiers while we were driving back home."
"I kind of had the impression and was guessing it in the last IPL. Our rooms were next to each other, and we would walk the same way and disperse, every time we walked to our room and he would see me outside, he would be like 'I want to see you for coffee, one of these days',"Kohli added.
Kohli further revealed that he had an inkling of what ABD was going to say. He said that the 'strange feeling' got him emotional.
"I kept getting nervous and was like 'I am not sitting with you because I think there is something coming' to which he always said 'No man there is nothing, I just want to have a chat with you, it's been a while and he never speaks like that because we interact all the time. So, I knew something is brewing up. It is a very strange feeling I got very emotional. The voice note was very emotional as well for me when he said, ‘Look I don’t have it in me anymore.' I have shared so many moments with him, highs and lows, everything we have been through he was right next to me."