IPL 2024: 'If He's Not Entirely Fit....', Ricky Ponting Drops Big Update On Rishabh Pant's Participation Rishabh Pant with Ricky Ponting. (Image: ANI)

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting made a big statement while speaking to ICC on Rishabh Pant, saying that the wicketkeeper and batter will captain the team in the 17th edition of the tournament that starts on March 22 but only in one case which is if he is absolutely fit. As per reports, Pant has been given a fitness clearance by National Cricket Academy (NCA) but there has been no official work as yet from them.

Also Read | IPL 2024: Huge Boost For DC As Rishabh Pant Given Green Signal For Fitness From NCA – REPORT

Speaking to Sanjana Ganesan for ICC, Ponting said, “It’s a big decision we’ll have to make because if he is fit, you’d think he’d step straight back into that captaincy role.”

“If he’s not entirely fit and we have to use him in a slightly different role, then we’ve got some decisions to make there.”

Ponting gave good news to the Capitals fans when he said that in whatever practice games Pant has been part of, he has looked well. The DC coach added that Pant has also kept wickets in one of these games and his fielding and batting does not look to be a big issue.

Ponting said that he really wants to see Pant make a comeback and not just as a DC coach. The former Australian captain said that Pant has been through a lot in the last 12 to 14 months and at one point, the DC management were not hopeful for his return even in IPL 2024.

“I think the whole world wants to see him back playing cricket again and just playing with that youthful exuberance that he has. If he does that, then I know he’ll win some games for Delhi and we’ll have a good time along the way this season,” said Ponting.

Pant had met with a car accident in December 2022 and since then has been out of cricketing action. He was lucky to have escaped a horrible crash on the Delhi-Dehradun highway. His car was burnt to ashes before he was taken out of it. Had there been a delay, the accident could have been fatal for Pant.

The 26-year old underwent knee surgery on one of the legs and miraculously didn’t require surgery on the other knee. Once he stopped walking with the help of crutches, BCCI sent him to NCA to begin his rehabilitation program which is still going on.

It was earlier reported that Pant may not be able to keep wickets in IPL 2024. It will be interesting to see whether the talented keeper can jump into DC’s playing 11 from Ball number 1.

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