Image Source: Twitter/ Rishabh pant in Delhi Capitals jersey
Great news for cricket fans! Rishabh Pant is likely to play in all the matches of this year's IPL, according to former cricketer Ricky Ponting. This is exciting news since Pant hasn't played since a bad car accident in December 2022.
He's been getting fitter slowly and has even been seen at some recent India matches. Looks like he's on his way back to top form.
Since his accident in December 2022, where he thought his " time in this world was over," Pant has not played cricket at any level.
Having missed last year's IPL, the ODI World Cup and some key Test series, Pant was expected to return during this year's IPL. While Ponting reckoned that the 26-year-old feels he's ready for a return, he remained unsure about Pant taking the wicketkeeping gloves or being captain yet.
Image Source: Twitter/ Ricky Ponting and Rishabh Pant in DC dressing room
Speaking on Wednesday in Melbourne following his announcement as the Washington Freedom's new MLC coach, Ponting stated that while Pant was optimistic about his availability for the upcoming campaign, everything the coach could get from him is a bonus.
"Rishabh is very confident that he's going to be right to play. In what capacity we're not quite sure yet," was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'.
"You would have seen all the social media stuff, he's up and about and running well. But in saying that we're only six weeks away from the first game as well. So we're not sure if we'll get wicket-keeping out of him this year," the former batting legend added.
"But I'll guarantee if I asked him now he'll say, 'I'm playing every game, I'm keeping every game and I'm batting at No.4.' That's just what he's like, but we'll keep our fingers crossed," he added.
"If you understand the journey he's been on the last 12-13 months, it was a horrific incident. One that I know he feels very lucky to have even survived, let alone have the chance to play cricket again.
"We'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he can be out there and play. Even if it's not all the games, if we can manage him through 10 of the 14 games or whatever that might be then whatever games you can get out of him will be a bonus," Ponting said.
Delhi Capitals won just five of their 14 games and finished second-last in IPL 2023, but Ponting heads towards this year's season with a sense of optimism.