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IPL 2024: ‘Feels like I’m making my debut again’, says Rishabh Pant on joining DC’s pre-season camp

Visakhapatnam : Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant said he feels like it’s his debut all over again ahead of his return to competitive cricketing action after 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 after 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-batter, 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. Rishabh’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.

“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,” added Kiran Grandhi, DC co-owner.

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