Virat Kohli to give up Royal Challengers Bangalore captaincy after IPL 2021

Decision comes days after similar move away from India 20-over leadership

Virat Kohli announced he will step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain after IPL 2021. AFP
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Star batsman Virat Kohli made another major move away from the leadership position after announcing that he will step down as captain of his Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore after the ongoing edition of the T20 tournament in the UAE.

"This will be my last leg in the IPL as captain of RCB," Kohli said in a video message on his team's Twitter feed. The decision comes just days after he said he will quit India's T20 captaincy at the end of the World Cup in October-November, also in the UAE.

"This has been on my mind for a while as I recently announced stepping down from the T20 captaincy to manage my workload which has been immense for so many years and I want to be committed to the responsibilities I am fulfilling."

Kohli, 32, has been with Bangalore since the inaugural IPL in 2008, took charge as captain in 2013 but has yet to win the league.

"I felt I needed this space to refresh, to regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward. And also understanding that RCB is going through a transitional phase with the big auction coming next year," said Kohli.

"I made it clear to the management that I can't think of me being in any other team than RCB. I will continue to be an RCB player till I play my last game in the IPL."

Kohli, who has hit over 6,000 runs in IPL, took Bangalore to a runners-up finish in 2016.

The star batsman's leadership has come into sharp focus over recent years, with his national deputy Rohit Sharma seen as a better white-ball leader with five IPL titles for holders Mumbai Indians, and wins in multi-nation tournaments like Asia Cup and Nidahas Trophy.

Rohit is the front runner to succeed Kohli as captain of India's T20 team, with the latter staying as the Test and one-day leader.

Updated: September 20, 2021, 3:07 AM