Virat Kohli will step down as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Earlier this week, Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his Team India captaincy in T20Is after the impending ICC T20 World Cup, but will remain as the captain in ODIs and Test.
"This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I'll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me," Kohli said in a statement issued by RCB.
He added, "It has been a great and an 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."
Kohli led RCB in 132 matches since being announced as the captain in 2013, which is the second-most number of appearances as a captain in IPL after MS Dhoni's 196 for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiants. RCB won 60 matches under Kohli, which is the fourth-most under any captain in the league, lost 66, and four ended with no result. RCB's best finish in an IPL season under Kohli came in 2016 when they reached the final, before losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Prathmesh Mishra, Chairman, RCB said, "Virat Kohli is one of the finest cricketers, and has been a true asset to RCB. His impeccable work ethics and leadership skills has been phenomenal. We respect and support this decision and would like to thank Virat for his incredible contribution to the RCB leadership group. He has left an indelible mark on the franchise and will continue to be a senior member of the team."