Feels like I’m making my debut again: Rishabh Pant

India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who has been on a long road to recovery in the aftermath of a horrific car crash in December 2022, is set to make his return to competitive cricket for the first time in nearly 15 months as he is gearing up to lead the Delhi Capitals franchise in the 2024 iteration of IPL, which commences on March 22. Ahead of his much-anticipated return, Pant is both excited and nervous about what awaits as he resumes his cricketing journey with the fiercest league in the world.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It feels like I’m going to make my debut again,” said star Pant, upon being declared fit by the BCCI for the upcoming edition of the IPL.

The 26-year-old, who underwent an extensive rehabilitation and recovery process following a life-threatening road accident, will be making a return to professional cricket after 14 months. “To be able to play cricket again after everything I’ve been through is nothing short of a miracle,” an emotional Pant said. “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.”

Upon joining the Delhi Capitals pre-season camp, Pant said, “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.”

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Capitals Chairman & Co-owner Parth Jindal said, “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. Rishabh’s return is one of the most highly anticipated ones in recent times, and I can’t wait to see him compete again.”

Team co-owner Kiran Grandhi said, “Rishabh’s return is tremendous news not just for all of us at Delhi Capitals, but for Indian cricket. We’re glad to have assisted and supported him whenever there was a requirement. We are tremendously excited to see him back in DC colours, and can’t wait to watch him entertain the fans. Our best wishes are with him”

Delhi Capitals will begin their IPL 2024 campaign against Punjab Kings on Saturday, 23 Match 2024 at Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium in Mohali.