'Not just numbers' - RCB fans emotional as Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers's jersey numbers to be retired
Royal Challengers Bangalore might not have won the IPL to date, but it undoubtedly has a huge fan following, with top players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. Meanwhile, the franchise would discontinue the jersey numbers worn by the latter two.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will discontinue the jersey numbers donned by its top former players AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle, as the two cricketing legends will be inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame on March 26. "Jersey numbers 17 and 333 will be retired forever as a tribute to @ABdeVilliers17 and @henrygayle when we induct the legends of RCB into the Hall of Fame," RCB announced in a tweet.
Jersey No. 17 had become interchangeable with de Villiers, who featured in 11 seasons (2011-2021) for RCB, scoring 4,491 runs in 156 matches. The great South African batter also banged 37 half-centuries and a couple of tons for RCB, with the top score of an unbeaten 133 in 2015. De Villiers, who retired from all forms of cricket in November 2021, possessed a strike rate of about 152.00 while playing for the franchise.
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With former skipper and opener Virat Kohli, de Villiers scripted five 100-plus stands for RCB and a couple of 200-plus partnerships, the only cricketing duo in the world to do so. Windies swashbuckling opener Gayle played for RCB for seven seasons (2011-2017), and his jersey No. 333 became one of the most feared for the opposing sides.
During the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 season, the Jamaican clobbered an out-of-the-world 708 runs in 16 contests for RCB, which included an unbeaten 175 against the now-defunct Pune Warriors India (PWI). Gayle started his IPL stint with former two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2009 before moving to RCB, where he had his most extended and the best time of the event. Punjab Kings (PBKS) owned him in 2018, where he featured for four seasons, but unfortunately, he never garnered the title success with any of the sides, making him one of the most unfortunate greats to have no IPL title.