IPL 7: RCB retains Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers

Jan 09, 2014, 22:29 IST | Agencies

Ahead of the players' retention deadline for the forthcoming Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore Thursday announced that Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers will stay with the franchise.

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday decided to retain India's batting sensation Virat Kohli, West Indies' opener Chris Gayle and South Africa's AB de Villiers for the upcoming IPL season, besides announcing the appointment of former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori as their head coach.

The RCB, expectedly, have retained their batting nucleus in the form of Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers for the seventh edition of the cash rich league.

While Kohli has been representing the Bangalore-based side since the inaugural edition, Gayle and de Villiers joined the Vijay Mallya-owned side in 2011 from Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils respectively.

Besides appointing former Kiwi and ex RCB captain Vettori as the chief coach, former South African pacer Allan Donald was also roped in as the bowling mentor of the side while Australia's Trent Woodhill would take care of batting and fielding departments.

"Having been closely associated with RCB for the last 3 years, I'm very excited by the opportunity to work with this exceptional brand and Virat in delivering on RCB's true potential. My first area of focus will be to work closely with management in developing team composition strategy for the IPL auction," Vettori said in a RCB release.

Donald, who coached Pune Warriors in the last IPL edition, said RCB have the capability to bag their maiden title.

"I have followed RCB very closely in previous editions of the IPL and believe they have the potential to go all the way. I hope my experience will guide them in getting there," Donald said.

Commenting on the development, team owner Mallya said, "This formidable trio of players have contributed significantly to RCB's past performance and are match-winners in their own right. Their retention means that we have a strong platform to build an exceptional team."

"I am happy and honoured to be retained by RCB and it's great to be back to Bangalore, literally my 2nd home now ... Am looking forward to working closely with Dan Vettori. Bowling Coach Allan Donald's experience will add a lot of value. Together with my other retained mates Chris and AB and the rest of the team, I hope to fulfill the faith that RCB and the fans of Bangalore have reposed in me," said Kohli in a team statement.

Gayle said: "Home Again!! I am happy to be retained by RCB and looking forward to the love and affection ... Bangalore, here I come again and let's rock!!!!"

RCB owner Vijay Mallya tweeted: "Delighted to retain Virat, Gayle and AB in RCB. Easily amongst the best players in the World. We will build a strong squad around them."Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle

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