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Tim Paine hopeful of Pant’s potential participation in the BGT 2024-25

New Delhi : Former Australia captain Tim Paine expressed his delight at seeing Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant back in action after a long hiatus due to injury.

As Pant marked his return to the field for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Punjab Kings (PBKS), Paine extended his best wishes for Pant’s potential participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Pant’s journey back to the cricket field had been fraught with challenges, including a lengthy 14-month recovery period following his injury. On March 23, Pant made his comeback during the Delhi Capitals’ clash against the Punjab Kings, showcasing his talent with both the bat and the gloves. Though his innings yielded only 18 runs off 13 balls, Pant’s impact resonated beyond mere statistics, as he demonstrated his agility behind the stumps with a catch and a stumping.

Speaking on ESPN’s Around the Wicket, Paine reminisced about the spirited banter he and Pant had shared on the field in the past, emphasizing that it was all in good humor. He fondly recalled their exchanges and admitted to enjoying Pant’s playing style, which he likened to his own aspirations as a cricketer.

“It certainly did. A lot has been said about the ordeal he went through and how close he was to losing a leg. Just to see him walk back onto the field, as a cricket fan and as a fan of Rishabh. I know we had our banter back and forth, it was really cheeky and good fun,” said Paine.

“I have always had fun chatting with him off the field, and enjoyed watching him play,” he added.

Despite their on-field rivalry, Paine revealed his admiration for Pant’s contribution to the sport and expressed hope for his fitness ahead of the highly anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy tour later in the year, scheduled from November 22 to January 7.

“He played cricket like I always wanted to. I didn’t have the courage to take the game on or even the skill. I certainly appreciate what he brings to the game, the joy he brings to the Indian cricket team fans. I can’t wait to keep watching him and hopefully, he is fit and well enough to make it to Australian shores for the summer,” said Paine.

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