Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) inducted legendary Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers into their Hall of Fame. The former RCB stars were instrumental to the franchise’s success and played vital roles in making the team one of the most exciting sides.
Gayle and de Villiers were pure entertainers of the game and during their stint with RCB, they enthralled cricket fans across the world with their stroke-making abilities.
Since they took a break from the game, there is nobody like them who appeared into the cauldron of IPL.
RCB director of cricket Mike Hesson, during the induction programme, said that the criteria for being awarded the honorary position is that the player would have to play at least three seasons in the franchise and has to have an exceptional impact on the RCB brand both on and off the field.
Former RCB captain Virat Kohli, who inducted the duo, said that their achievements and influence on the game have been unmatchable. And he enjoyed his time with them sharing the same dressing room.
Both Gayle and AB de Villiers achieved tremendous success during their RCB days. Gayle, who played several murderous knocks for RCB, became run machine for the franchise and scored 4965 runs from 142 matches. While he has not retired yet, Gayle decided to skip IPL 2022. He will, however, be back in action next season to ‘win the IPL for either RCB or Punjab Kings’.
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AB de Villiers, on the other hand, scored over 5000 runs before retiring. The middle-order batter’s improvised shots were treat for eyes. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the game, AB de Villiers was never dropped from the team until an injury forced him to rest. The former South Africa captain retired last year after the COVID-19 affected IPL.
Speaking about the duo’s achievements, Kohli said that both players had tremendous impact on the IPL and he was fascinated while batting alongside them.
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“AB has truly changed the game of cricket with his innovation and sportsmanship which defines RCB’s ‘Play Bold’ philosophy. In the videos we saw you guys have changed how IPL is played. With AB I played for 11 years with Chris I played for seven. And both the journeys started in 2011 which for me is going to be the most special year as I met the both of you. I always have a few memories with you guys that stand. With AB, it was the two games against Gujarat in 2016. That partnership I had will last with me for life. I got to see close-up how it is done and that left me astonished. In the same year when we were struggling, it was AB and Iqbal who took us home,” Kohli said.