Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) swashbuckling batsman ABDe Villiers left his fans by surprise on Monday by changing the name of his official social media handles after a generous restuarant owner from Mumbai.

The development came on the day the Bangalore-based franchise are set to kick start their campaign at the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Stadium.

The 36-year-old former South African skipper took to his Twitter handle to explain the cricket lovers the reason behind his move to change the name of his social media accounts to ‘Paritosh Pant’.

De Villiers said that Paritosh started a ‘Project Feeding from Far’ and fed meals to needy people during the coronavirus lockdown. The RCB batsman did this in order to salute the spirit of COVID-19 warriors who are working selflessly during this difficult time.

“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 2 appreciate their challenger spirit. Share your #MyCovidHeroes story with us #WeAreChallengers #RealChallengers #ChallengeAccepted,”he tweeted.

Besides this, De Villiers also changed his profile picture in which he could be seen donning an RCB jersey with ‘Paritosh’ written on the back instead of his name.

Notably, Paritosh Pant is a Mumbai-based restauranteur who began ‘Project Feeding from Far’ with lawyer Pooja Reddy in a bid to feed meals to the needy amid coronavirus crises.

Last week, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had revealed that the team will don jerseys with the message ‘My Covid Heroes’ written on it through the upcoming 2020 IPL in order to pay tribute to selfless frontline workers amid coronavirus pandemic.

The Virat Kohli-led side had issued an official statement, saying that their players will proudly wear the tribute jerseys both during training and matches for the entire tournament in order to acknowledge the efforts and honour the sacrifices made by the real challengers amid the novel virus.

Reflecting on the RCB initiative, Kohli had said that he feels truly proud to don the team’s ‘My Covid Heroes’ jersey as a sign of solidarity and gratitude to all those warriors who are working selflessly at this difficult time.

RCB are one of the three teams–the other two being Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab–who are yet to clinch an IPL title.


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