Rishabh Pant is set to return to the cricket field, and he may play in the next Indian Premier League (IPL) season. After being sidelined for almost a year, the Delhi Capitals administration has declared that the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman will captain the team in the 2024 Indian Premier League.
According to management representatives, Pant, presently receiving rehabilitation at Bengaluru’s National Cricket Academy (NCA), should be back to full fitness by the end of February. His ability to play an active role in IPL matches would depend on the NCA managers’ approval.
There’s still doubt regarding Pant’s ability to keep wickets in the IPL after he had surgery on his right knee (done by Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala in Mumbai) after a near-fatal accident on New Year’s Eve last year, along with back and ankle issues.
According to team officials, he would only take on wicket-keeping responsibilities if approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI); without clearance, he will concentrate on hitting and fielding. This eliminates any possibility that the squad will only use the 26-year-old as an Impact Player. A representative for the team said, “If he is not keeping, he will be on the pitch and will lead the side.”
The Delhi Capitals, who placed ninth in the IPL points table, lamented the loss of Pant’s services greatly since he was sidelined for the whole 2017 season. The Capitals are now depending on their motivating captain to bring about a change in their next season.
Since January 2023, India has participated in 62 international matches. Among many other matches, Pant has missed the World Cup, the Asia Cup, the West Indies series, the Australia Cup, and the four-Test home series against Australia. Additionally, he probably won’t be able to play in the crucial five-Test series against England in February and March, as well as the forthcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. Additionally, he is already unavailable for the current South Africa series.