KOCHI: He has won the hearts of millions in the span of a decade. Among Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s fan base, one of the standouts is Malayali Dileep K M. He had started the Virat Gang in 2012 and now the fan club is expected to reach one million followers across various social media platforms.
“Virat became my No. 1 ever since India’s won the T20 World Cup in 2007. Since then, there was no looking back.
It took me some time to start the Virat Gang. It did not have many followers initially. However, in 2016, it turned out that Virat personally started following our page, after which the fan base suddenly grew to half a million. Now, it is very close to reaching one million,” said Dileep, an IT professional-based in Coimbatore.
Dileep was soon joined by Prathamesh Avanchare, a resident of Nasik in Maharashtra as co-admin. Prathamesh had been following Virat since his Under-19 days when not many people knew about the then rising star. “From his aggression to his hunger for scoring runs, we were highly impressed with his personality, which inspired us to start the club,” he said.
Dileep says the club publishes all information about Virat that his fans need to know. They could range from his prowess on the field to the various brands he endorses, and his personal life. “Right now, we are gearing up to create a dedicated app for fans so they can stay updated with everything related to Virat in a convenient way,” said Dileep.
According to Dileep, his association with the Manjappada gang, a fan club of the Kerala Blasters team in the Indian Super League, has helped him a lot. “It gave me a glimpse of the kind of love people have towards the teams and players they love. I understood the the psychology of the people’s adulation,” he said.
Dileep and Prathamesh are planning to launch a fan magazine and a sports comic on Virat as well as the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Their former work
Planted 50 trees with the help of fans in the community as part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Go Green Initiative.
Launched RCB Bold Brigade Fan Community which aims at uniting all the Royal Challengers, Bangalore fans and creating a new fan culture.