Mumbai: One of the most successful batters and all-time leading scorer in the Indian Premier League (IPL), former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has said that playing in the cash-rich league for 14 years has had a big influence and impact on his life and it added a different dimension to his understanding of the cricket.
Virat, who has only played for Royal Challengers Bangalore from the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008, has scored 6499 runs in 218 matches so far. The star batter feels that IPL gave him the platform to show his capabilities, compete against the best in the world.
“Like so many other people, IPL has had a big influence and impact in my life. I think outside of playing for India (and having the opportunity to play for India), IPL gave me the platform to show my capabilities, compete against the best in the world and share knowledge with them. I think that was the most important thing that added a different dimension to my understanding of the game,” Virat said.
Excited and grateful
“This helped me move ahead in a very progressive manner. I was picking brains of people that probably I wouldn’t have come across otherwise on things like how to play in different conditions and what mind-set they have. You know, people have different ways to succeed so it can’t be just one template. So I used to be so excited and grateful for the opportunity to pick their brains and just learn from them day in and day out and that’s for me has been the standout feature of IPL,” he added.
When asked about his connection with Bengaluru city, the former RCB captain said that the city has a very special place in his heart.
“Bengaluru has a very special place in my heart. It’s always had a strong impact in my life, starting from the time when we used to come for the Under-14, Under-15 camps at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and used to be there for two and a half months at a stretch. So we used to explore quite a bit of what used to be Bangalore even then. But, I think since IPL happened, and me playing for RCB for so many years, and the reason I say I will play here till the last day of me playing the IPL is because I just cannot see myself being in any other environment. So the city has a very different feel than any other place in India,” he said.
Though, the 33-year old Kohli still hasn’t won a trophy for RCB in the IPL, he has been very loyal towards the franchise.
Life moves on
“To be very honest I thought about it. Yes, I won’t shy away from it and I have been approached many times as well to come into the auction somehow, put my name there and stuff. And then I thought about it, I was like at the end of the day everyone has X number of years that they live and then you die and life moves on. There would have been many great people who won trophies but no one addresses you like that. No one addresses you in the room like ‘Oh he’s an IPL champion or he’s a World Cup champion. It’s like if you are a good person, people like you, if you’re a bad guy, they just stay away from you and eventually that’s what life is all about,” he said.
“For four years of my life I was doing well everywhere in the world, the only thing was ‘but England’. So there are always going to be ‘but’, you literally can’t live your life like that and I just carry out doing my own things and I actually honestly don’t even bother about a third person beyond myself and Anushka discussing things and just being true to ourselves and that’s it. For me nothing else or no one else’s opinion matters at all.” he added.