Kohli opens up on Delhi franchise's decision to choose Pradeep Sangwan over him in maiden IPL auction

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Feb 01, 2022, 01:36 PM IST


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During the maiden IPL auction, the Delhi franchise chose Pradeep Sangwan over Virat Kohli. The superstar cricketer opened up on Delhi's decision and said the following:

2008 was a landmark year for Indian cricket. The inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season was held early in the year, on February 20. Back then, India's U-19 team was involved in the Junior Men's World Cup in Malaysia under Virat Kohli's captaincy.

Kohli-led India won the mega title, beating South Africa in DLS method, on March 2. However, a bunch of them had already made heads turn during the inaugural IPL auction, being picked by the eight franchises for staggering amounts. Kohli's home franchise, Delhi Capitals (DC) -- who were then known as Delhi Daredevils (DD) -- were keen to pick him but instead chose pacer Pradeep Sangwan, who was also a part of the then Kohli-led U-19 squad.

In a podcast shared by RCB, Kohli recenlly recalled not being picked by his local franchise and how the U-19 players went bonkers after knowing the amount for which they were picked. 

Kohli recalled and said, "We were all in Malaysia for the U-19 World Cup. I remember the day when the drafts were happening and the U-19 dynamic was different as we very rightly so had a money cap. That was the only time when I saw a restriction on how much could you be picked for, if you haven't played for India. I remember even that moment for us was so amazing. The amount that we were picked for, when they revealed, we were like, we couldn't believe it, we went absolutely crazy."

Kohli, who stepped down as the RCB captain after IPL 2021, also shared how DC bought Sangwan whereas he was picked by the Bengaluru-based franchise, defining it as a 'life-changing moment' for him.

The 33-year-old further asserted, "There was one conversation where I heard from people that the Delhi team was interested to go after me but the dynamics of their team turned out to be such that they went for Pradeep Sangwan - who was a left-arm seamer, amazing bowler, at that time he was our best bowler in U-19. So Delhi decided to go for him because they wanted their bowling strengthened and RCB picked me. In hindsight, I feel it was such an important moment in my life. I didn't realize it then but now when I look back, things could have been very different to what they are now. I would not have it any other way than this."

To date, Kohli remains the only player to have played for a single franchise -- RCB -- since IPL's inception in 2008. He has been retained by the three-time runners-up, along with Glenn Maxwell and Md Siraj, before the IPL 2022 mega auction, set to take place on February 12 and 13.