Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan lauded the fans of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for supporting the team through thick and thin, although the franchise is yet to win a single trophy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2008.
In 2009, 2011 and 2016, RCB made their way through to the finals, but lost to now defunct Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
“I have never seen a franchise-fan relationship like RCB and their fans. They have the most loyal fanbase in the entire world. They haven’t won a single trophy. They came close a couple of times to winning that trophy,” Pathan told Star Sports.
‘2016 was a very special season’
Pathan said that RCB had a great chance to win in 2016 when Virat Kohli set the record for most runs in a single edition of the T20 tournament. In 16 matches, the then RCB skipper scored 973 runs at an average of 81.08 and a strike-rate of 152.03 with 4 centuries and 7 fifties to show for his efforts.
RCB went agonisingly close to beating the Sunrisers in the final before losing the match by 8 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. After being asked to chase down a stiff target of 209, RCB finished with 200 for 7 in 20 overs.
Pathan said that if RCB manage to win the IPL in 2024, it will be the “biggest moment” in the history of the T20 league.
“2016 was a very special season for him and RCB. I thought that was the year to win. If Virat Kohli and RCB win the title, that will be the biggest moment of IPL history, not just RCB history,” he added.
Before the 2022 edition of the IPL, Kohli stepped down as their skipper. Thereafter, Faf du Plessis, who made a move from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), was named as their skipper. Last year, RCB finished sixth and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
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