Royal Challengers Bangalore has announced its own Hall of Fame, with its two former stars, Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers getting in as the first two inductees.
The induction of two legendary players who represented the franchise was done on Monday evening, with the Director of Cricket operations for the franchise announcing it. The former RCB skipper and franchise's star batter Virat Kohli then announced the induction of both the star batsmen. A video montage featuring some of the best moments of their careers was also run.
AB De Villiers represented the franchise in 157 games from 2011-2021, scoring 4,522 runs for it at a strike rate of 158.33. Two centuries and 37 half-centuries came out of his bat for RCB, with the best score of 133*. On the other hand, Gayle represented the franchise in 91 games from 2011-2017, scoring 3,420 runs at a strike rate of 154.40. Five hundreds and 21 fifties have come out of his willow for the franchise, with the best score of 175*.
Both Gayle and De Villiers joined the ceremony virtually.
"AB has truly changed the game of cricket with his innovation, brilliance, and sportsmanship which truly defines the RCB Play Bold philosophy," said Virat Kohli. "It is truly special for me to be doing this for both of you. We saw videos of how you have 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 RCB being where it is today," he added.
AB de Villiers delivered an emotional message to everyone in the RCB camp. "To the RCB boys sitting there, what an amazing privilege. Quite emotional to be honest," he said. "Virat, thanks for the kind words. Mike, Nikhil, and everyone from the franchise who set this up, it is a really special touch. We had some amazing times together as a team, and the sun has moved on for Chris and I now, but we are still very much part of the family and will always be. So yes, thank you very much for the very special touch. Faf and the guys sitting there, Virat and the guys that know me really well for many years know how special stuff like this is to me. You guys know how much of an amazing journey I had during the IPL, especially with my RCB family, and how it changed my life. So, huge privilege to be part of this. I do not have enough words to thank you for this touch," he concluded.
"I want to thank the RCB family for the opportunity, for everything," said Chris Gayle, known as the Universal Boss to his fans. "It has been really special to me as well. And to be inducted is something fantastic, and I will always keep RCB close to my heart. I share a lot of memories with some special players, some special coaches as well. It is been really, really fantastic. I wish I was there to give this speech and look into you guys' eyes and tell exactly how I feel. AB mentioned it is gonna be emotional as well because it is very touching for such a franchise has created over the years, it is really, really fantastic. And to Virat, thank you for the kind words as well, fantastic sharing the dressing room with you guys as well," he concluded and wished the team luck for the remainder of IPL 2022.
It was later announced that a plan to present momentos to the duo next year at the franchise's home stadium, Chinnaswamy stadium is in works. (ANI)