This franchise has had the maestro of Jaque Kallis, Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, the explosive nature of Chris Gayle and the class of Virat Kohli and AB De Villers. On paper, they have been favourites every year. They have appeared in 3 finals and yet have not been able to bag a trophy. Through this tempestuous journey, their supporters have always, at every moment in time had their back. Every season we have seen the Chinnaswamy Stadium painted red and have felt the electrifying vibration of the RCB chant.
Many have wondered as to how the RCB fans find the motivation to come out in huge numbers and support this franchise. When we asked Siddharth Muthukali, die-hard RCB fan this question, he said “I am a born and bred Bangalorean. I chose to support a team that was representing my city and as a sports fan, I believe that once you pledge your allegiance to a team, you stick with them through it all – it is that simple. We celebrate when we win and watch the game until the end if we are losing – we stay with them till the end.”
Be it the semi-finals in 2009, Arun Karthik’s last-ball six in the Champions Premier League, Gayle’s unforgettable 175 with the bat or Kohli’s 4 centuries in 2016 – the team has always given their fans something to cherish and be proud of. Siddharth told us about one such moment that he will always hold close to his heart.
“It was the qualifier against Gujarat Lions in 2016. We were playing at Chinnaswamy and I remember our top order had failed to deliver. AB was still batting and Iqbal Abdulla was at the other end. It looked as though we were going to lose. But then, a miracle happened. The two of them, with a steady mind got us over the line. It was unbelievable. I mean who would have thought! Iqbal Abdulla sticking through, giving AB the support he needed, oh man! Winning the game – truly magical. I was residing in America that year and after that game I almost booked tickets to get back to India, just to watch the finals at Chinnaswamy Stadium. I was talked out of doing so but that game defined the season for me. With winning several games in a row, to Kohli scoring 4 centuries and reaching the finals in a dramatic fashion – it was truly a season of miracles.”
The holy trinity of sport comprises the athlete, the club and the fans. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, the players, and their fans, I would say, are a perfect example. As the Challengers take the field today, they will miss the spine-tingling and hair-rising RCB chant. This may or may not be their year but for the fans, as Siddharth says, “it’s RCB and ‘ee sala cup namde’ till I die”.
Reported by Shriya Rajachandra
Featured Image Credits: IPLT20.com
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