Former India skipper Virat Kohli has revealed that he simply could not fathom the amount he got in the Indian Premier League (IPL) draft in 2008 where he was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Unlike the present scenario where Under-19 cricketers are allowed to take part in IPL auction, earlier uncapped players were used to get picked via drafts. As per the earlier IPL draft policy, every franchise had the option of picking two U-19 players and there was a salary cap set for them.
Kohli was leading the India U-19 team in the World Cup in Malaysia when the draft process for the inaugural edition of the IPL took place in 2008.
“We were all in Malaysia for the U-19 World Cup. I remember the day when the drafts were happening. The U19 dynamic was a little different. That was the only time where I saw a restriction on how much you can be picked for if you haven’t played for India,” Kohli said in an RCB podcast.
“So that for us, I remember even that moment for us was so amazing. Because of the amount that we got picked for when they announced it, we couldn’t believe it because it was absolutely crazy,” he added.
The star cricketer also mentioned that Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) were also interested in going for him. However, Delhi opted for Pradeep Sangwan, a left-arm pacer, to strengthen their bowling unit, and eventually, Kohli ended up being at RCB.
“There was one conversation where I heard from people that the Delhi team was interested in going after me but the dynamic of their team was such that they went for Pradeep Sangwan, who was a left-arm seamer. An amazing bowler, at that time he was our best bowler in the U-19 team. So Delhi decided to go for him because they wanted the bowling strength,” he said.
After getting picked by RCB in the inaugural season of IPL, Kohli has never played for any other team in the cash-rich league. He led the Royal Challengers Bangalore for nine seasons from 2013 to 2021 and he has been retained by the franchise for IPL 2022 though he will not be captaining this time.