Delhi refused to pick Kohli in team despite getting chance in IPL auction
Virat Kohli, the current captain of the Indian cricket team, has been playing at the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) since the first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the meantime, he has also become the highest run-getter in the history of IPL.
But Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) could have bought Kohli if they wanted. In the auction held before the first edition of the IPL in 2008, Delhi had a chance to get Kohli in the team. But they surprised everyone by buying left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan instead of Kohli.
Former IPL COO Sunder Raman reported the incident almost a decade later. He saw all the events of the auction from the front that day. Like everyone else, Raman himself was surprised not to buy 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.
Kohli has been in RCB since that first edition. He has batted in 169 innings in 12 editions of the tournament and has scored the highest 5,412 runs in IPL history at an average of 37. Kohli scored a total of 972 runs in the 2016 edition of the IPL, including 4 centuries. Which is the highest century and run record in a single season.
On the other hand, Delhi did not get much from Pradeep Sangwan. Pradeep has taken 35 wickets in just 39 matches in the IPL and his economy rate is almost 9. He also tested positive for dope and was banned for 15 months. Delhi released him in 2011.