“I could not have made better choices” Vijay Mallya on Virat Kohli’s pick in the 2008 auction

Virat Kohli and Vijay Mallya

Former Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) owner Vijay Mallya on Wednesday said he couldn’t have made a better choice when he bid for Virat Kohli in the inaugural IPL auction as he lauded the superstar batter for his brilliant run in the IPL 2024.

RCB have made a tremendous comeback after losing seven out of their first eight games to qualify for the playoffs with six straight victories, riding on Kohli’s sublime form which has fetched him 741 runs from 15 innings.

Vijay Mallya recalls his auction strategy to pick Virat Kohli

In the 2008 IPL auction, Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) had a chance to go for Kohli but they opted for Pradeep Sangwan, a left-arm pacer, to beef up their bowling unit and then RCB bought Kohli. He was bought for Rs 24,97,260 ($30,000) following his title-winning run with India’s U19 World Cup.

In all these years, RCB have failed to win the IPL trophy since 2008 even though they have reached the final thrice – in 2009, 2011 and 2016, but Virat has stuck to his words and has remained loyal to the franchise.

In 2008, RCB was co-owned by Vijay Mallya and ahead of the team reaching the playoffs after a remarkable turnaround, Mallya sent his best wishes to the team and Virat before the eliminator.

Mallya posted on X, “When I bid for the RCB franchise and I bid for Virat, my inner instinct told me that I could not have made better choices. My inner instinct tells me that RCB have the best chance to go for the IPL Trophy. Onward and Upward. Best of luck.”

After a poor start to IPL 2024, RCB won six consecutive games to qualify for the playoffs. They faced Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator in the season’s first knockout and were defeated comprehensively in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Mallya is accused in a bank loan default matter of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He has been living in the United Kingdom since March 2016. The same year he had to forego his ownership of RCB due to the legal proceedings against him.

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