‘Virat Kohli said it’s not an option, just sign the contract…': KL Rahul on joining RCB and learnings for ‘7-8 seasons’ | Crickit

‘Virat Kohli said it’s not an option, just sign the contract…': KL Rahul on joining RCB and learnings for ‘7-8 seasons’

By, New Delhi
Apr 19, 2024 10:49 AM IST

KL Rahul recalled Virat Kohli’s reaction after the India batter signed for RCB. Rahul will lead LSG in their home game against CSK in the IPL 2024 on Friday.

Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul celebrated his 32nd birthday on Thursday. Tracing back the meteoric rise of the Indian wicketkeeper-batter, Rahul was recruited by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2013 season of the cash-rich league. The Indian batter made his debut for the Virat Kohli-starrer side against former champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2013.

Playing for RCB was a dream for KL Rahul back then (AFP-BCCI)
Playing for RCB was a dream for KL Rahul back then (AFP-BCCI)

For a 20-year-old Rahul, playing for RCB was a dream back then. Rahul fulfilled his dream by penning a deal with the Bengaluru heavyweights before the 2013 season. Interestingly, Rahul had two stints with RCB in the cash-rich league. Recalling his early days at the franchise, Rahul opened up about his lesser-known interaction with Bengaluru skipper Kohli. In conversation with veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube channel, Rahul revealed Kohli's reaction after the Karnataka batter signed his first IPL deal with RCB.

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'I signed and Virat Kohli said…': KL Rahul on joining RCB

"Virat was there (ITC Gardenia), coach Ray Jennings and other support staff were also there and Virat only said, 'Would you want to sign this contract and play for RCB?' I was like, 'Are you kidding? It was always my dream.' And then he said 'I'm just kidding. It's not an option, just sign this contract.' I signed and Virat said 'It's gonna be a crazy ride. You're going to enjoy a lot in the next couple of months,'" Rahul said.

Rahul was added to the RCB roster after a remarkable 2013 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. However, RCB and Rahul parted ways a season later as the Indian batter signed for Sunrisers Hyderabad at INR 1 crore. Rahul scored only 20 runs in the 2013 season of the cash-rich league. The former India vice-captain amassed 166 runs in 2014. Rahul made his Test debut in the same year.

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"The things that I learned (at RCB) in those two months, I mean the amount of time it would have taken me to be the player by playing just Ranji Trophy would have probably taken it 7-8 seasons. Those two months in the IPL, I gained so much knowledge and experience and everything was fast-forwarded," Rahul added.

Rahul returned to RCB for the 2016 season, during which he accumulated 397 runs in 14 appearances. The former RCB star was sold to Punjab Kings for a whopping sum of INR 11 crore. The IPL 2020 Orange Cap winner was later roped in as the leader of Lucknow Super Giants for the 2022 season.

Rahul would have liked to finish IPL career at RCB

Before marshalling his troops for the IPL 2024 match against Chennai Super Kings on Friday, LSG skipper Rahul revealed that he would have loved to finish his IPL career at RCB. "I would have also loved to play for Bangalore. I had started there, I would have liked to finish there and that was there in my head. But the beauty of IPL is that you get to go into different teams with different players," Rahul concluded.

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