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June 22, 2024 11:37 pm

Virat Kohli hugs Dinesh Karthik as latter receives guard of honour, moment hints at last dance for veteran in IPL

Ahmedabad, May 23

Royal Challengers Benglauru’s (RCB) star finisher Dinesh Karthik might well have had his last dance on a cricket field in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

After flying high with six consecutive wins, RCB, in chasing the sun, came away with their wings charred and melted. Their hopes of a fairy tale season turned into despair after the Bengaluru franchise crashed out of the tournament in the second eliminator on Wednesday.

In what was billed as a clash of ‘Royals’, Rajasthan prevailed, inflicting a four-wicket defeat on Bengaluru in the Eliminator at Narendra Modi Stadium.

With the chants of “ee sala cup namede” falling silent and failing to go all the way to Chennai, which is set to play host to the title clash, emotions were in free flow amid the cricketing action at the world’s biggest stadium.

Karthik took off his gloves and acknowledged the fans who were on their feet to applaud the veteran for his contributions throughout the season.

Soon a moment to savour for RCB fans unfolded, as the franchise’s marquee star and modern-day cricketing icon Virat Kohli embraced Karthik as he struggled to fight back his emotions.

While Karthik hasn’t yet officially announced his retirement from IPL, he did drop broad hints throughout the tournament that the ongoing season would be his last for his franchise.

As he walked back towards the dressing room, Karthik received a guard of honour from the RCB players.

He was a crucial figure for RCB, especially in the death overs in a turbulent season. His influential cameos at the end played a role in inspiring the team to an unprecedented spot in the playoffs.

If this season ends up as the last one for Karthik, he will finish his IPL career with 4,842 runs in 257 matches, studded with a whopping 22 fifties.

In his illustrious IPL career that spanned over 17 years, Karthik featured for six franchises in the cash-rich league.

He made his debut in the inaugural season in 2008 with Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). He made a switch to Punjab in 2011 and, thereafter, went on to play for Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Kolkata Knight Riders and RCB.

He ended the ongoing season with 326 runs in 15 matches at an average of 36.22 and a mouth-watering strike rate of 187.36.

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