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Virat Kohli’s RCB Winning IPL 2024 Will Be Biggest In Tournament’s History, Feels Ex-India Star Irfan Pathan

Royal Challengers Bangalore reached IPL finals thrice in 2009, 2011 and 2016 but couldn’t lift the trophy.

Updated: February 12, 2024 6:44 PM IST

By Koushik Paul

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Virat Kohli is the only Indian player to play for a single franchise so far in IPL history. (Image: RCB)

New Delhi: Having a loyal fan base is much more important than winning a trophy, believes former India cricketer Irfan Pathan, citing Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) example in the Indian Premier League. Since the inception of IPL in 2008, RCB never had the chance to put their hands on the winners’ trophy despite coming close on three occasions. RCB reached IPL final in 2009, 2011, and 2016.

With no trophy in the cabinet, RCB’s fan base remained the same from the first year as they stood by the team thick and thin. Pathan, a former IPL veteran himself, opined the franchise-fan relationship of RCB and their fans is the most loyal relationship in the world.

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“I have never seen a franchise-fan relationship like RCB and their fans. They have the most loyal fanbase in the entire world. They haven’t won a single trophy. They came close a couple of times to winning that trophy,” Pathan told Star Sports.

Among the three IPL finals that RCB played, Pathan felt the franchise had a great chance to win in 2016, because of Kohli’s exceptional show with the bat. The then-Indian captain scored a record 973 runs in 16 games including four hundreds for RCB. However, despite Kohli’s King-like efforts, RCB lost the final to Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

The former India speedster also reckoned that if RCB manage to win IPL 2024, it will be a historic moment in the tournament history. “2016 was a very special season for him and RCB. I thought that was the year to win. If Virat Kohli and RCB win the title, that will be the biggest moment of IPL history, not just RCB history,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kohli stepped down as RCB captain before the 2022 edition. Former South Africa skipper, Faf du Plessis, who made a move to RCB from Chennai Super Kings, succeeded Kohli. However, RCB might miss England’s Reece Topley in IPL after the pacer was ruled out of the Pakistan Super League.

Topley, whom was due to play for Multan Sultans, wasn’t issues a No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as he is nursing an injury. The ECB, acting cautious, denied giving Topley a NOC.

Topley was last seen playing for Durban Super Giants in SA20. he took 12 wickets in 10 matches. He was a part of the playing XI in the final against Sunrisers Eastern Cape in which for Durban Super Giants lost.

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