Indian Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant Set to Resume Cricket Career at IPL 2024 after Car Crash

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India’s cricket board on Tuesday declared Rishabh Pant fit to play as a wicketkeeper-batter in the upcoming Indian Premier League, brightening his prospects of a national comeback in the T20 World Cup after more than a year out following a car crash that left him with multiple injuries.

India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is fit to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting this month after being seriously hurt in a car crash in 2022, the country’s cricket board said on Tuesday.

“After undergoing an extensive 14-month rehab and recovery process, following a life-threatening road mishap on December 30th, 2022, near Roorkee, Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has now been declared fit as a wicket-keeper batter” for the Twenty20 tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

The 26-year-old, who will once again be back as Delhi Capitals skipper, has undergone extensive rehabilitation and is ready to shoulder the dual responsibility in the event starting March 22, ending weeks of speculation surrounding his exact role in the league.

Delhi Capitals play their opening game against Punjab Kings a day later.

The Delhi Capitals management has confirmed that Pant, who has been out of action for nearly a year, will lead the franchise in the 2024 IPL season.

The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman suffered a near-fatal car crash on December 30, 2022, while driving back to his home in Roorkee in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. He suffered injuries on his head, back, and leg, but managed to exit the car before it caught fire.

Pant had multiple surgeries in 2023 and went through an extensive strength and conditioning programme. In 2023, his absence was felt throughout the Indian cricketing calendar, especially in the World Test Championship Final against Australia and in the ODI World Cup 2023.

His most recent cricket match was for India in their second Test match against Bangladesh last December, in which he scored 93 in the first innings – days before the crash occurred.

Pant has played 33 Tests, 30 one-day internationals, and 66 T20Is for his country, averaging 43.67 and with five hundreds in the longest format.

A successful return to cricket may pave the way for his inclusion in India’s squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the Caribbean and the United States.