I'm writing this letter precisely an hour after the eliminator against SRH. As I jot down my memories associated with this team's phenomenon, there is a rush of emotions, and all I feel is pure love.
I was as young as 9 years old when my dad introduced me to the T20 format. We'd sit and watch every match that RCB played with utmost enthusiasm and discuss what happened in the game. In the process, I heard stories of the legends who were a part of our team. From the story behind Anil Kumble Circle in Bengaluru to Dravid being a nightmare for every test team, I've heard all the tales. This was when Dale Steyn dominated the number one spot in the ICC test rankings for a record of 263 weeks. Vinay Kumar, our very own Davangere boy who captained Karnataka to win two consecutive Ranji Trophies. Stories where Jacques Kallis moved past Ricky Ponting in the test ranking and stories of our team's 'finisher' Ross Taylor's wonderful death over batting.
Legendary tales of Robin Uthappa, Kevin Pietersen, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Zaheer Khan, and Muttiah Muralitharan were my bedtime stories for the longest of time.
It's been 12 years since the Indian Premier League began, and I don't think I've ever liked another team as much as I love RCB. Royal Challengers Bengaluru, the name has so much emotion attached to it. Hence, here is an open love letter to RCB for all those memories.
Mr 360, Abraham Benjamin de Villiers, joined the squad in 2011. Ever since, he's been our favorite batsman and, of course, the best partner for the Run Machine. Witnessing an ABD-Virat show in the Chinnaswamy Stadium is a treat for every RCBian. As a tribute to the multiple times he has saved us, we like to call him Aapath Bandava ❤.
How many of you guys miss calling our city 'Ben-Gayle-uru'? That's the impact he has created. 175 not out in a T20 game is not a joke. Out-of-the-park sixes have always been your style. The way Chinnaswamy roared when you bat was phenomenal. Thanks, Universal Boss, for making destructive batting seem so easy!
And finally, our captain, Virat Kohli. I've been following Virat since his under 19 days. From that angry young boy to this highly disciplined epitome of fitness, I've seen him evolve. I've witnessed every century, every duck, every MOM moment, every controversy, and every downfall of his. He has always been a part of my childhood. And maybe that's why his success matters more to me. I still remember people trolling him and him just calmly letting his bat do the talking. A century in a 13-over match with 9 stitches in your hand might seem like a miracle, but you were that miracle!
Yes, we are the most trolled team. Yes, we have an empty trophy cabinet. But here's an open challenge, try to change our love for our team. I bet you can't!
I agree this season didn't go as planned but come what may, you are my favorite team.
RCB, you are everything more than just a team to me and a million fans like me. You win or lose; we shall always love you. I shall always love you. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for being a part of our lives so much that your legacy shall become bedtime stories for future generations.
A proud RCBian.