IPL 2022: Virat Kohli calls RCB fans the “12th Man’s Army” and thanks them for their unwavering support


Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star batsman Virat Kohli has dubbed the RCB fans the team’s 12th man army and said he looks forward to their unwavering support at this edition of the IPL.

Speaking exclusively on RCB Bold Diaries, a podcast run by the franchise, ex-Captain Virat Kohli expressed his gratitude to the fans.

IPL 2022: full coverage

“I am very excited and very grateful. I understood the impact and contribution of the people who come into the stadiums in my career. Because as much as you feel sometimes, man! We get booed, we get a little stick from the crowd” and “century maarna hai”. And as a player you get angry sometimes, honestly.

“That’s a very honest feeling from me, we had a conversation about it, me and Anushka, she said, ‘You have to see the importance and acknowledge that the audience has played such a big part in your career.’

“Because looking back on it now, I fed on the screams of 40,00050,000 people. It pushed me to another level where I felt like anything is possible, I could do anything. I have the energy of so many people behind me. They believe in me, they look forward to something from me. So, first of all, I am very grateful to them. And secondly, I am very happy (that) they are back in the stands. Hopefully we’ll get more and more of that as the tournament progresses.”

He adds: “For me, sport is all about the atmosphere, the excitement, the spectators, the people competing. And I think it’s a perfect synchronization. It’s a beautiful harmony when it happens. The fun isn’t there if the fans aren’t there. For me, sport is all about the fans.”

The matches will be played at stadiums in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune with 25% spectator participation under Covid protocols set by the BCCI.

Virat further elaborated on his connection with the RCB’s 12th Man Army, giving an example when he played against Sri Lanka in the second day-night test at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the RCB said in a press release on Sunday.

“I also understood the power of our (RCB) fan community in the test match. During the two and a half days, I think for two days I just heard ‘RCB-RCB’ in the stadium and it was as loud as the 2016 season or the final. It was amazing. It gave me goosebumps. It made me a little emotional from all the memories we had. I thought of all the amazing moments and games we had. would have.

“They called the name AB (de Villiers) and they called my name and RCB and so on. It was amazing. I’m so thankful to have been a part of a franchise for so long. After all, that’s what you play for. Yes, we all love playing for titles and all that. But you know, those moments of pure love and connection with the fans,” Kohli said.

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