The renowned Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has been in recovery mode since a life-threatening car accident over a year ago, with his return to competitive cricket eagerly anticipated for IPL 2024. Ricky Ponting, recently appointed as the head coach of the MLC franchise Washington Freedom, discussed Rishabh Pant’s prospects for the upcoming season.
Ponting conveyed Pant’s strong belief in participating throughout IPL 2024, despite uncertainties about his role as a wicketkeeper or team leader. Expressing Pant’s confidence, Ponting acknowledged the player’s active recovery evident in social media updates. However, with only six weeks until the first game, the certainty of Pant taking on wicketkeeping duties remains unclear.
Ponting stated, “I’ll guarantee if I asked him now he’ll say, ‘I’m playing every game, I’m keeping every game, and I’m batting at No.4.’ That’s just what he’s like.” While acknowledging Pant’s dynamic abilities and leadership as the team’s captain, Ponting emphasized the significant absence felt during the previous season.
Despite Pant’s optimism, Ponting maintained a realistic perspective, recognizing the challenging journey of recovery after a harrowing incident. He highlighted the importance of Pant’s potential contributions, stating, “if we can manage him through 10 of the 14 games or whatever that might be, then whatever games you can get out of him will be a bonus.”
In the event Pant is unable to lead Delhi Capitals, Ponting confirmed that David Warner would continue as the interim skipper. As IPL 2024 approaches, scheduled to commence around the last week of March, the anticipation for Pant’s return adds an element of excitement to the upcoming season.