Wasim Akram sends 'strict answer' to 'foreign ex-cricketers' after Pietersen's 'Virat Kohli should leave RCB' statement

May 27,2024

Royal Challengers Bengaluru's wait for an IPL title continues after the side was eliminated earlier this week during its Eliminator match against Rajasthan Royals. The RCB had a stellar run in the second half of the season after winning only one of their first 8 matches; they registered six successive wins to qualify for the Playoffs, capping off a brilliant comeback with a dramatic win against Chennai Super Kings in their final league phase game.

Virat KohliRCB' star batter, was yet again the side's most consistent performer and has all but ensured an Orange Cap to his name; he scored 741 runs in 15 matches this season; no other batter has crossed the 600-run mark yet, with only one match remaining in the season. '

Former England batter Kevin Pietersen had suggested after RCB's loss that Kohli should consider changing his franchise to assure a chance of lifting the IPL title. "I have said it before and I will say it again -- the greats of the game in other sports, have left teams to go and seek glory somewhere else. When he has tried and tried so hard -- won the Orange Cap yet again and done so much yet again and the franchise fails again. I understand for the brand of the team and the commercial value he brings to the team... But Virat Kohli deserves a trophy. He deserves to play in a team that could help him to get that trophy," he said, on Star Sports.

However, Wasim Akram has now reacted strongly to Pietersen's remark, stating that the decision to stay or leave should be left to Kohli alone. He insisted that if Kohli doesn't want to leave, there's no point having this conversation. 

“I've a very strict answer. Kevin is a very good friend of mine. All these foreign ex-players, who do the commentary, they tweet about everything related to India. I'm all for it... it's probably right but it's not a big deal for me. It's a big deal for Kohli, maybe. He wants to win for RCB, what would changing the team do for him, then? He wants to win for RCB, that's his call. That's my opinion. I don't want to speak on everything, that's what I've learned,” Akram told Sportskeeda.

Kohli, in an earlier interview with RCB, had said that he wanted to retire at the franchise.

Auction picks need to be better

Akram also commented on RCB's consistent failures in IPL seasons, attributing their struggles to poor auction strategies. The former Pakistan captain said RCB lagged behind in their bowling attack= and expressed that he's still surprised at the side's decision to part ways with Yuzvendra Chahal.

“It depends on which players they pick in auction. This season, their bowling wasn't up to the standard, especially when they play at home. It's a high-scoring venue. Their batting was fine, but their bowling... you let go of Chahal, I still can't understand that decision,” Akram said. 

“Their coach (Mike Hesson) had said that they thought they would bought him back, but they didn't have the money left. Make sure you had enough money to buy that player back. It cost them in the middle overs. Hopefully, next year, they will be better prepared with their bowling.”