File image of Rishabh Pant© IPL/BCCI
One of the most promising batters in the Indian cricketing spectrum, Rishabh Pant suffered serious injuries in a car crash on December 30. The severity of the injuries was such that the wicket-keeper batter had to undergo surgeries. The situation rules him out for the entire Indian Premier League, and quite possibly, the most of this year. But, Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting wants the wicket-keeper batter around him for the entire 2023 edition of the T20 league.
Ponting admitted that the Delhi Capitals are in the market for a replacement but he also admitted that players like Pant “don’t grow on trees”.
“You can’t replace those guys, simple as that. They don’t grow on trees, players like that. We’ve got to look at – and we already are – a replacement to come into the squad, a wicketkeeper-batsman,” Ponting said on The ICC Review.
The former Australia captain went on to say that he would love to have Pant in the Delhi Capitals camp even if he isn’t fit to play.
“If he is actually not physically fit enough to play, we’d still love to have him around. He’s the sort of cultural leader around the group, being the captain, and that attitude and infectious smile and laugh he has is what we all love so much about him. If he’s actually able to travel and be around the team, then I want him sitting beside me in the dugout every day of the week. I’ll certainly be making sure, come the middle of March when we get together in Delhi and start our camps and stuff, if he’s able to be there, then I want him around the whole time,” said the legendary Aussie batter.
The timeline of Pant’s return is unclear at present. Seeing the cricketer play for India this year still looks like a distant dream.
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