In what will come as heartening news for Indian cricket fans, Rishabh Pant is expected to return to action on the field with the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Delhi Capitals (DC). Pant, who missed the entirety of the 2023 season after suffering severe injuries in a car crash in December 2022, is likely to be fully fit by the end of February. (Cricket News)
While it is not certain whether Pant will keep wickets or play as a specialist batter, an ESPNcricinfo report states that the DC franchise is understood to be happy to have Pant as captain and batter. If the 26-year-old southpaw does indeed play IPL 2024, it could open up possibilities of him playing the ICC T20 World Cup in June as well.
Pant was present at a DC camp in Kolkata in November, which was also attended by director of cricket Sourav Ganguly, head coach Ricky Ponting and assistant coach Pravin Amre. Pant later took part in the discussions around the retention and release of players ahead of the next auction, which is scheduled for December 19 in Dubai.
The aggressive wicketkeeper-batter from Roorkee was ruled out of playing any cricket this year after all three key ligaments in his right knee were torn in the car crash. Post that, Pant underwent successful reconstructive surgeries to the ligaments and has been recovering at the Board of Control for Cricket in India's National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. In recent months, he has posted videos suggesting that his rehab has been going as per plan.
The last time there was an official update on Pant from the BCCI was in July, when the cricket board said he had made "significant progress in his rehabilitation and has commenced batting as well as keeping in the nets".