Rishabh Pant to play in IPL 2024 for Delhi Capitals
The India wicketkeeper-batter is on the road to a comeback, having suffered serious injuries when his car met with an accident on December 30 last year.
In welcome news for Delhi Capitals and Indian cricket, Rishabh Pant will feature in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League. The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batter has been out of action for a year after suffering multiple injuries in a car accident while driving from Delhi to Roorkee in December 2022.
He underwent knee ligament surgery in January and video clips of his struggle to even take a few steps had raised concerns if he would ever be able to play top-level cricket. However, he has fought his way back following a long spell of rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
Last month, Pant attended the Delhi Capitals camp at the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata but didn’t train with his teammates as he was still not ready for full-fledged net sessions. A Delhi Capitals official confirmed on Monday that Pant will be back in action in next year's IPL, adding that he will be ready for competitive cricket by January end.
“He will be leading Delhi Capitals next season. He is likely to be back playing at the end of January,” the official said.
Interestingly, the official hinted that Delhi Capitals are considering using Pant as Impact Player in some games, possibly in an effort to manage his workload after the serious injuries. “He will also be used as an impact player in certain games. He will be on the field for all 20 overs in the games that he plays, but he may not always don the gloves,” the official added.
In games where Capitals decide to use Pant as Impact Player, which was introduced ahead of the 2023 season, David Warner will be handed the captaincy. In Pant’s absence this year, the Australian opener led the team. While Warner has plenty of leadership experience in IPL, Capitals sorely missed Pant’s explosive batting as the team finished second from bottom.
If Pant is fully fit in January, it will be interesting to see if the India selectors consider the star ‘keeper-batter for the five-Test series against England, scheduled to run from January 25 to March 11. Before that though, Pant may want to test his match readiness by playing for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. Delhi’s matches in the group phase will be held from January 5 to February 19.
IPL player auction list
A total of 333 players will go under the hammer in the mini auction in Dubai on December 19 ahead of IPL 2024. There are 214 Indians while the overseas player count stands at 119 (including two from Associate nations). There are 116 capped players and 215 uncapped players. Prominent among the 23 players who have chosen to go in with the top base price of ₹2 crore are Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Harry Brook and Gerald Coetzee.
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