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Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers inducted into Bangalore Hall of Fame, Virat Kohli pays tribute

Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers played for seven and 10 years respectively for the team.

Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit : BCCI/IPL)

Bangalore franchise inducted Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers in the Hall of Fame. Gayle and De Villiers played for the team for seven and 10 years respectively. Notably, both players started playing for the three-time finalists in 2011. The former South Africa skipper was signed by the team in the player auction. On the other hand, the former West Indies skipper was drafted as the replacement for Dirk Nannes.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame event happened in the close circuit of the team where all the members, including players, coaching staff, etc were present. Former skipper Virat Kohli was the anchor of the event. Meanwhile, Kohli paid his tributes to the two Bangalore stalwarts and said that both players made a huge impact in the cash-rich league.

“It’s truly special for me to be doing this for the both of you. We have seen how you’ve changed the way the IPL has been played over the years. Two people who have had a huge impact in IPL being where it is today and to bring RCB to where it is today. I’ve played for 11 years with AB de Villiers whereas seven with Chris Gayle. Both the journeys started in 2011 which for me will be the most special year. I met both of you in 2011, I started playing with both of you and RCB got to experience the brilliance of both you guys for so many years,” Kohli said. as quoted by Hindustan Times.

The 33-year-old also reminisced about the 2016 season when he and De Villers had a partnership of more than 200 runs against now-defunct Gujarat. He also recalled the Qualifier One game against the now-defunct team where the Protean took the team over the line. After this, the Delhi-born pointed out how Gayle came into the team out of nowhere in the 2011 season and scored most runs in the competition.

“I remember a few memories of playing together which always stands out for me. With AB, they are from the 2016 seasons, both against Gujarat, where in one game we had that massive partnership together which was amazing. I saw first-hand close up how brilliant he is and I was astonished. I couldn’t believe what I had seen. The second memory is when we were struggling the same year and AB took us home.

“Chris came in after 4 games from nowhere, sitting in Jamaica and chilling. Not many people know but Chris was a replacement for Dirk Nannes. He came in, got 2 hundreds that year and 7 fifty-plus scores. The other memory is the 175 not out. I’ve been fortunate to witness the brilliance of these two guys for so many years and it’s truly an honour for me to be standing here and be part of their induction. We would surely want to see more of you in RCB in whatever capacity that is,” the 33-year-old added.

On the other hand, De Villiers said that it is an honor for him to get the award. “What an amazing privilege to be honest. I am quite emotional since I’m out of cricket and watching you boys on television really gets me excited. I believe it’s going to be a special one. Everyone in the franchise who set this up, it’s a really special touch and we have had some amazing time together as a team,” De Villiers said.

Meanwhile, Gayle thanked the franchise for the award and said the team has been close to his heart. “I want to thank the fraternity and RCB franchise. It has been really special to be inducted for something really fantastic and I will always keep RCB close to my heart. I cheer a lot of memories I have with special players and coaches. Wish I was there to give a speech and tell you exactly how I feel. Like AB de Villiers mentioned, it is a bit emotional and touching for such a franchise we have created over the years. It is fantastic,” said Gayle.

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