Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli, teammate AB de Villiers and the rest of the team paid tribute to the COVID-19 heroes ahead of the side's opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Both Kohli and de Villiers changed their Twitter profile names to Simranjeet Singh and Paritosh Pant, respectively. They are only two of the many warriors on the frontline battling the deadly pandemic.


Virat Kohli's Twitter handle


"Simranjeet Singh is hearing-impaired but that did not stop him from helping others in the pandemic. He approached people to raise donations for the poor suffering in the pandemic and many hearing-impaired individuals agreed. These individuals weren't from any particular organisation and they selflessly donated funds. Simranjeet Singh along with his friends raised Rs 98,000 to help people," RCB had earlier said in a statement.

De Villiers also penned his appreciation on Twitter : "I salute Paritosh, who started ‘Project Feeding from Far’ with Pooja & fed meals 2 needy during the lockdown. I wear his name on my back this season to appreciate their challenger spirit."

Speedster Umesh Yadav gave a shoutout to yet another coronavirus warrior saying, "This Real Challenger, Shahnawaz Shaikh even sold his car to buy oxygen cylinders for the needy. Saluting his selflessness, I am wearing a jersey dedicated to him and all the other real challengers this season."


RCB players will sport the jerseys with 'My COVID Heroes' written on them all through the IPL to pay tribute to these professionals.

The slogan will be printed on the back of the playing as well as training jerseys.