Virat Kohli becomes 1st cricketer to play 200 IPL matches for a single franchise
- Kohli has been associated with RCB since 2008
- IPL 2021 is his last as RCB's captain
- He took over RCB's charge in 2011
Virat Kohli on Monday became the first player to play 200 matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a single franchise when he came out for the toss ahead of the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi.
Overall, Kohli was the fifth cricketer to make 200 appearances in the tournament.
Kohli joined MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik in IPL's 200-club. With 212 matches, Dhoni leads the list of most matches in the IPL, ahead of Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit (207), KKR's Karthik (203) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team mate Raina (203).
Having scored over 6,000 runs in the IPL, the 32-year-old Kohli is also the leading run-scorer in the league. He has scored five centuries in the tournament, one less than Punjab Kings' Chris Gayle, who holds the record of most tons in the IPL.
Dhoni, the most-capped player, has represented two IPL franchises - CSK and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Rohit (Deccan Chargers & MI) and Raina (CSK & Gujarat Lions) have also played for two franchises while KKR's Karthik has played for Delhi Capitals (DC), Gujarat Lions (GL), Punjab Kings (PK), MI and RCB in the past.
With six IPL trophies on his cabinet – one with Deccan Chargers and five with MI – Rohit is arguably the most successful player in the tournament, which first started in 2008.
On Sunday, Kohli announced that he would step down as RCB's captain at the end of the underway season. He has been at the helm of RCB since 2011. Under his captaincy, RCB reached the final once but ended up losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2016.
"It has been a great and inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCB management, coaches, support staff, players, and the entire RCB family, who have been instrumental in the growth of the franchise over the years.
It wasn't an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise. The RCB family remains close to my heart as we continue to strive to achieve excellence. As I have mentioned previously in many occasions, I will only play for RCB until my retirement from the game of cricket," added Kohli, who is yet to win the IPL trophy," Kohli said.