‘Ee sala cup namde’ – Year, after year, after, year, after year, this chant has become synonymous with Royal Challenger Bangalore’s very long wait for the IPL trophy. Despite all odds, one factor that remained constant at the RCB camp has been India’s star cricketer and former captain Virat Kohli. The ace batsman has been with the RCB since the inaugural tournament back in 2008. As the franchise celebrates its association with King Kohli today, here’s a look at the rise and rise of Kohli’s IPL fortune:
1: Kohli was never part of the IPL auction. In 2008, the Royal Challenger Bangalore picked him as part of the U-19 draft plan. Kohli’s IPL journey started with a paltry salary of Rs 12 lakh in 2008. Kohli is the only player, who has stayed with one franchise for all 15 editions of the IPL. After winning the U-19 World Cup, a lot was expected from Kohli. But the first season of IPL didn’t bring any success for him.
2: But things started to change and there was no looking back for him. During his 15-year stint as an RCBian, Kohli has played 223 matches. He has scored staggering 6,624 runs in these matches. As RCB captain, he led the team to the grand finale in 2016 but failed to win the title. This was the closest that RCB has been to the trophy.
3: For several years, Kohli was the top-earner of the richest cricket league on this planet. In 2011, he was retained by RCB. From 2011 to 2014, he earned a salary of Rs 8.28 crore for every season. RCB gave him a promotion in 2015. Till 2017, he was getting a salary of Rs 12.5 crore per season. From 2018 to 2021, RCB paid Rs 17 crore to Kohli for every season.
4: However, things changed in 2021. Ahead of the critical auction, Kohli agreed for deduction in salary. The RCB retained him, nonetheless. Kohli agreed for Rs 15 crore pay package. But this pay cut has not put any dent in Kohli’s fortune. The mega deal saw Kohli breaking the Rs 150 crore-mark in IPL. With this, he has become the third player in the history of IPL to earn more than Rs 150 crore. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the first player to breach the Rs 150 crore-mark in the IPL tournament.
5: If we look at the last season, of 16 matches that Kohli played, the star player scored 341 runs. Kohli earned Rs 4.3 lakh for every run that he scored during IPL 2022. With him back in form, RCB fans are expecting that the elusive dream of winning the IPL trophy may just come true this year!