Virat Kohli, who had stepped down as the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper during the Indian Premier League in 2021, said he took that call to give himself some space and manage his workload.

While Kohli’s successor is yet to be announced, he will continue to don the Red and Black jersey throughout his stint in the he has made it clear several times in the past that he will continue to play only at RCB.

Excerpts from the RCB podcast episode featuring Virat Kohli in conversation with Danish Sait:

Let’s go back to when you decided you would become a cricketer. In retrospect, looking back, would you have done something differently?

I don’t think so. I have done everything that I could... of course, there are mistakes along the way but I don’t think that my intent was ever in the wrong place when it came to playing cricket. I wanted to win at any cost from the day I started playing this game. From the day I started playing club cricket, school cricket then state cricket, heading up to first class cricket and then eventually getting to play for India and IPL as well, my mindset was the same always... which was to play to win and at any cost so that hasn’t changed.

Do you remember the day you were picked by RCB? What were you doing that day?

We were all in Malaysia for the Under-19 World Cup (2008) and I remember the day when the drafts were happening and the Under-19 dynamic was a little different because we, very rightly so, had a money cap. That was the only time where I saw a restriction on on how much you could be picked for, if you haven’t played for India of course, so that for us... I remember even that moment for us was so amazing because the amount that we got picked for, when they revealed it, we couldn’t believe it.

So if you had played a number of first-class games you were eligible to get X amount of money which was the maximum in that bracket and if you hadn’t, it obviously was lesser so when we heard that we were picked for that much.

We obviously didn’t know anything about the teams, we didn’t know anything about the dynamic of the tournament. We understood what it’s going to be like, we knew that the opportunity is going to be huge but we didn’t know how the environment is going to be for us at that time. For us, we were like, ‘Wow, we never imagined at this stage we would be getting that kind of money’ which you know obviously is a big impact in anyone’s life especially when most of the cricket players you see come from backgrounds which are not as privileged in terms having facilities ready and and stuff to use at any time you want.

So you have to work through the ranks and you have to work really hard so it just gives you a new motivation in life that ‘Yes, what I’m doing is is going to reap me the rewards.’ Which I believe should be the case when you’ve chosen it as a as a career and I clearly remember we went absolutely crazy there was one conversation where I heard from people that that the Delhi team is interested to go after me but then the the the dynamic of their squad turned out to be so that they went for Pradeep Sangwan, who was a left arm seamer, amazing bowler. At the time, he was was our best bowler in Under 19 and so Delhi decided to go for him because they wanted the bowling strengthened and then RCB picked me. In hindsight, I feel like that was such an impactful moment in my life which I didn’t realise at that time. Now when I look back, things could have been very different to what they are now and I would not have it any other way than this.


(With PTI inputs)