‘Delhi passed on him’: Former IPL COO reveals reason behind Daredevils not picking Virat Kohli in 2008
Delhi Daredevils had the choice to make their pick and fans assumed they will go for homeboy Virat. But DD surprised everyone as they chose to get pacer Pradeep Sangwan in their team rather than Kohli.Updated: Jun 26, 2020 11:48 IST
When India won the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, there was firm spotlight on young Virat Kohli. He was the skipper of the Indian colts and was instrumental in taking his country to victory. He was hot property ahead of the Indian Premier League 2008 with several franchises vying for his signature. Delhi Daredevils (DD) had the choice to make their pick and fans assumed they will go for homeboy Virat. But DD surprised everyone as they chose to get pacer Pradeep Sangwan in their team rather than Kohli.
This led to Royal Challengers Bangalore getting the current Indian captain and it proved to be a masterstroke as Kohli became one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game. But why did the Daredevils pass over the opportunity to pick Virat Kohli in their squad? Former IPL COO Sunder Raman has explained that DD did not want another batsmen in their team and opted to get a bowler instead of Kohli.
“Interestingly, that was also the year India had won the U-19 World Cup, just a month before the auction. They were captained by Virat Kohli and we decided to keep a separate draft for the U-19 players a few days after the auction. Surprise, surprise! Virat Kohli was not the first player to be picked in the draft,” Raman told Gaurav Kapur on the podcast ‘22 Yarns’.
“Delhi passed on him, actually, and picked Pradeep Sangwan instead, because they said they didn’t need another batsman. And they didn’t actually, they had Virender Sehwag and AB de Villiers. They were right in their thinking, but RCB picked him up and the rest, as they say, is history,” he added.
In 169 innings, Virat has scored 5412 runs at an average of 37 to become the highest run-scorer in IPL history. Meanwhile, Sangwan played 39 matches in the IPL while picking up 35 wickets at an economy of 8.79. However, he was slapped with a 15-month ban by the BCCI after testing positive in a random dope test. His career has been on the downswing since the time he left Delhi in 2011.