Gulf Today

Feels like I am making my debut again: Pant


VISAKHAPAT­NAM: Wicketkeep­er-bater Rishabh Pant said he feels like it’s his debut all over again ahead of his return to competitiv­e cricketing action ater 14 long months.

He was declared fit by the BCCI on Tuesday to participat­e in the upcoming edition of the IPL.

Pant underwent an extensive rehabilita­tion and recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru following a life-threatenin­g road accident in December 2022. “I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It feels like I’m going to make my debut again. To be able to play cricket again ater everything I’ve been through is nothing short of a miracle.

“I’m grateful to all my well-wishers and fans, and most importantl­y, the BCCI and staff at NCA. All their love and support continues to give me immense strength,” said Pant in a release issued by the franchise ahead of joining DC’S pre-season camp in Visakhapat­nam on Wednesday.

Pant has been cleared by the NCA to play as a wicketkeep­er-bater, though DC picked other keeping options in Abishek Porel, Ricky Bhui and Kumar Kushagra in case he doesn’t keep wickets initially. DC will play their first two home games – against Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders - at Visakhapat­nam.

“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 their full support, guidance and co-operation at every step, for which I am deeply grateful. I can’t wait to re-unite with my DC family and play in front of the fans again,” said Pant.

Pant’s availabili­ty means his return to cricket could come on March 23, when Delhi open their season with an away match against Punjab Kings at Mohali. “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. Ri sh ab h’ s return is one of the most highly anticipate­d ones in recent times, and I can’t wait to see him compete again,” said Parth Jindal, DC’S Chairman & Co-owner.

BROOK PULLS OUT IF IPL DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS: England batsman Harry Brook has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League following the death of his grandmothe­r.

Brook pulled out of England’s recent Test tour in India in January, citing personal reasons.

The 25-year-old has now revealed the reason was because his grandmothe­r “was ill and didn’t have long let”. Brook on Wednesday confirmed he will not be joining up with Delhi Capitals, who paid £380,000 ($486,000) to sign him in December.

“I can confirm that I have made the very difficult decision not to play in the upcoming IPL,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I was so excited to be picked by delhi capital sand was so looking forward to joining up with everyone.

“Whilst I don’t think I should need to share my personal reasons behind this decision, I know there will be many asking why. So I do want to share this.

“I lost my grandmothe­r last month -- she was a rock to me and I spent a huge amount of my childhood in her home; my atitude to life and love for cricket was shaped by her and my late grandfathe­r.”

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