- Shamser Khalid
RCB Fans Chant for Kohli at Chinnaswamy Stadium
As the countdown to the Indian Premier League (IPL) season ticks down, fans of the game are eagerly anticipating the chance to see their favorite players in action. And there is no bigger star in the IPL than Virat Kohli, who is set to represent Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the 16th consecutive season.
Kohli arrived in style at the Chinnaswamy Stadium for the RCB Unbox event, which provided fans with a first glimpse of their team in action ahead of the new campaign. As soon as Kohli emerged from his car, the crowd erupted into a chorus of "Kohli Kohli."
The Unbox Event
The Unbox event was a great opportunity for fans to see some of their favorite players up close, with the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Faf Du Plessis, and Harshal Patel all taking part in the team's first practice session. But the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the unveiling of RCB's official jersey for the 2023 IPL season.
Former RCB stars Chris Gayle and Ab de Villiers were also in attendance, much to the delight of the fans. Both players were inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame, with de Villiers earning his place after scoring over 4,500 runs in 157 matches for the franchise. Gayle, meanwhile, hit 21 half-centuries and five centuries in his 91 matches for the team.
Despite De Villiers retiring from cricket last year and Gayle not playing an IPL match since 2021, they joined the current RCB stars for a lap of honor around the stadium.
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RCB also announced several initiatives in various spheres, including the RCB Innovation Lab – a pathbreaking intersection between sports and business. The franchise also plans to transform its 'Go Green Initiative' into a movement with a holistic approach to carbon neutrality with Green stadium, Lake Rejuvenation, and Green Schools.
RCB has a highly engaging fan base, and the franchise wants to create meaningful footprints in sports in India. With the RCB Innovation Lab, they aim to take Sports Tech to the next level in India and break down international barriers to showcase India as a thriving market.
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Before the event, an emotional video was shared by RCB featuring Chris Gayle and Ab de Villiers. The duo could be seen giving the team a pep talk. The former West Indies captain joked about looking for his kit bag and expressed his pleasure at being back on the field with his former teammates. De Villiers, on the other hand, thanked everyone for their support and talked about the special place RCB holds in his heart.
All eyes will now turn to the start of the IPL season, with RCB set to take on Mumbai Indians in their opening match. Last year, the team made it to the playoffs but was ultimately knocked out by Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2. But with Kohli and his teammates raring to go, there is every chance this year could be when RCB finally lifts the IPL trophy.
If you want to read more on Kohli and how he delights fans, then you should read about his dancing for them.