IPL: Feels like I'm making my debut again, says Rishabh Pant

Sense of relief and joy in Delhi Capitals as he joins prep camp in Vizag

Rishabh Pant being welcomed on joining the Delhi Capitals camp in Vizag on 12 March (photo: Delhi Capitals)
Rishabh Pant being welcomed on joining the Delhi Capitals camp in Vizag on 12 March (photo: Delhi Capitals)

NH Sports Bureau

It was celebration time in Delhi Capitals when Rishabh Pant joined their camp in Vizag today, a day after being declared fit by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to play as a wicketkeeper-batter. “I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It feels like I’m making my debut again,” said Pant, who will be leading the team in the upcoming edition of the IPL (Indian Premier League).

The 26-year-old, who underwent an extensive rehabilitation and recovery process following a life-threatening road accident, will be making a return to professional cricket after 14 months. “To be able to play cricket again after everything I’ve been through is nothing short of a miracle,” an emotional Pant said. “I’m grateful to all my well wishers and fans, and most importantly, the BCCI and staff at NCA (National Cricket Academy). All their love and support give me immense strength.”

There is already speculation about whether Pant can go on to be part of India's T20 World Cup squad, but for now, he is excited to be back with the Capitals family. Speaking to their media team, Pant said: “I’m excited to return to Delhi Capitals & the IPL, a tournament I enjoy so much. Our team owners and support staff have been by my side throughout with full support, guidance and cooperation at every step, for which I am deeply grateful. I can’t wait to reunite with my DC family and play in front of the fans again.”

Delhi Capitals chairman and co-owner Parth Jindal said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rishabh back to the Delhi Capitals family. The kind of grit and resilience he has displayed in overcoming challenges is inspirational to say the least. We’re humbled to have been a part of his journey to recovery, which has been exceptional. Rishabh’s return is one of the most highly anticipated ones in recent times and I can’t wait to see him compete again.”

Kiran Grandhi, co owner of the franchise, said: “Rishabh’s return is tremendous news not just for all of us at Delhi Capitals, but for Indian cricket. We’re glad to have assisted and supported him whenever there was a requirement. We are tremendously excited to see him back in DC colours and can’t wait to watch him entertain the fans. Our best wishes are with him”

Capitals will begin their IPL 2024 campaign against Punjab Kings on 23 March at Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium in Mohali.

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