Mumbai : Indian batter Virat Kohli recalled the moment when he first got the news about former South Africa batter Ab de Villiers’ retirement.
De Villiers was a major part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) since 2011, under Virat’s captaincy.
Earlier in November, 2021 de Villiers had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He took calling time on his participation in all T20 leagues across the world. This followed his retirement from international cricket in May of 2018.
“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 opened it and while I was listening to it, I looked at Anushka in shock. My face fell to which she questioned, I showed her the message and the voice note from AB and she exclaimed, ‘Don’t tell me!’. She knew. I kind of had the impression and was guessing it in the last IPL,” said Virat in a video posted on RCB’s YouTube channel.
“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. 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,” he added.
The RCB batter further said that it would be a really emotional moment if the team would clinch the IPL title, as they would miss the contributions made by de Villiers.
“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,” said Kohli.
“He is a special human being as he has touched everyone, and we all can vouch for that. He has been amazing, and I don’t think there is one person who can say that AB de Villiers has not contributed to their lives in some way or the other,” he added.
At 37 years of age, the icon ended his career with 9,424 T20 runs at a strike rate of 150.13 in 320 innings. He was not out 67 times, with four centuries, 69 fifties and a high score of 133 not out. He also took 230 catches and registered 18 stumpings.