Back in 2008, Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, had the chance of picking Virat Kohli, in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the same year, Kohli had guided India to victory in the U19 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. In that tournament, he churned out a century against the West Indies and caught the eyes of the IPL franchises.
But the Daredevils decided, not to go for Virat and rather picked Pradeep Sangwan in the draft. It was because, they thought to have enough ammunition in their batting since they had the likes of Virender Sehwag and AB de Villiers.
Thereafter, the IPL team passed Virat, who went to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The revelations were made by Sundar Raman, the former IPL Chief Operating Officer in the podcast 22 Yarns with host Gaurav Kapur.
Virat Kohli was not the first player to be picked in the draft
“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 was quoted as quoted as saying.
“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.
The decision turned out to be a costly one in the long run. The 31-year-old Virat is currently the all-time highest run-scorer in the mega event with 5,412 runs in 177 matches to go with six centuries and as many as 36 half-centuries.
The Daredevils event went on to release De Villiers after a few seasons, a decision that proved costly as well. At the present point in time, Virat and De Villiers are indispensable members of the Challengers. However, both the Delhi and Bangalore franchises are yet to win the T20 league after 12 years.
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