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Virat Kohli pens emotional message after AB de Villiers announces retirement, says ‘our bond is beyond the game’ – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

South African cricketer AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of the sport on Friday. Shortly after his announcement, de Villiers’ Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate Virat Kohli posted a heartfelt message for him, calling him “the best player of our times.”

Kohli said while his teammate’s decision to retire “hurts my heart”, he was sure that De Villiers took the best decision for himself and his family. The former RCB skipper also added that their bond was “beyond the game and will always be”.

De Villiers also responded to Kohli’s emotional message, saying “Love u too my brother”.

De Villiers and Kohli share the record for the top two highest partnerships in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In a match against the now-defunct team Gujarat Lions in 2016, the RCB batters put on a staggering partnership of 229 runs for the second wicket. In 2015, they had pulled off a 215-run stand against the Mumbai Indians.

De Villiers remains one of the best batters in the IPL, with over 4,522 runs in 157 matches for the RCB. He is the second-highest run-scorer for the team behind Kohli, as well as the second-highest overseas run-scorer in IPL, after Australia’s David Warner.

De Villiers, in a video, said that he will “remain an RCBian for life”, adding that everyone in the team set-up had become like a family to him.

In his international career, the 37-year-old batter played 78 T20 matches, 114 Tests and 228 ODIs for South Africa.

The former South Africa captain had retired from international cricket in 2018, but continued to play in tournaments such as the IPL.

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