Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers enjoy a large fan following in India, thanks in large part to their stint with the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore. It’s no surprise, then, that the party named these two stars as the first two inductees into their Hall Of Fame. The franchise’s official Twitter handle posted a video on Twitter showing Mike Hesson, Cricket president and former skipper Virat Kohli, inducting the batting greats into the Hall Of Fame.
AB de Villiers was an integral part of RCB from 2011 to 2021, while West Indian lead-off hitter Gayle was with the franchise for six years.
Introducing the #RCB Hall of Fame: Contest winners, legends, superstars, heroes – you could go on and on @ABdeVilliers17 and @henrygayletwo individuals responsible for bringing IPL to where it is today. #PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 #ನಮ್ಮRCB #RCBHallOfFame pic.twitter.com/r7VUkxqEzP
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 17, 2022
While playing for RCB in the 2012 season, Gayle had scored 733 in 14 games.
Speaking of De Villiers, the right-handed batter was a fan favorite from the start of his stint with RCB, forming a formidable partnership with Kohli. The former Proteas skipper has been one of the most crucial players for RCB over the years, often saving them from difficult situations.
In an official statement on their website, Virat Kohli paid tribute to de Villiers, saying: “AB has really changed the game of cricket with its innovation, brilliance and sportsmanship that really defines the RCB Play Bold philosophy. It’s really special to me to bring this to both of you to do. We have seen videos of how you have changed the way the IPL has been played over the years. Two people who have had a huge impact on IPL being where it is today; and RCB is where it is Today.”
AB de Villiers, who had virtually joined the introduction, then had an emotional message to everyone in the RCB camp.
“For the RCB guys sitting there, what a great privilege. Quite emotional to be honest. Virat, thank you for the kind words. Mike, Nikhil, everyone from the franchise who set this up, it’s a really special touch. We’ve had some great times as a team and the sun is now gone for Chris and me, but we’re still a big part of the family and always will be.”
“So yes, thank you so much for the very special touch. Faf and the guys sitting there, Virat and the guys who have known me very well for years, know how special this kind of thing is to me. You guys know how much of a great trip that I made during the IPL, especially with my RCB family, and how it changed my life. So, a huge privilege to be a part of this. I don’t have enough words to thank you for this touch,” he concluded before he died taking the stage to Chris Gayle,” he went on to say.
At the end of the whole ceremony, it was announced that there is a plan to present a memento of the two legends at M Chinnaswamy Stadium next year.
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