‘He is cultural leader’: Ricky Ponting wants Rishabh Pant to be around Delhi Capitals team during IPL 2023


India’s wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant, is currently receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained in a devastating car accident in the early hours of December 30th. Reports suggest that the Indian cricketer underwent surgery on his medial collateral ligament and a minor repair on his anterior cruciate ligament. 

Pant is expected to be out of action for a few months and was previously ruled out of the Indian Premier League 2023. Despite this setback, the Delhi Capitals coach is determined to keep Pant close to the team during IPL 2023, and is eager for him to make a speedy recovery.

Speaking on the ICC Review show, the former Australian captain stated that it is very difficult to replace players like Pant and expressed his desire for the wicketkeeper to remain with the team throughout the tournament.

“You can’t replace guys like Pant, it’s as simple as that. Players of his caliber don’t come around often. We are already looking into finding a suitable replacement wicketkeeper-batsman,” Ponting said.

He asserted that even if Pant is not physically fit to play, he would still like to have him around the team. “If he is unable to take the field, we would still love to have him around. He is a true leader of the group, and his attitude, infectious smile, and hearty laugh are what we all adore about him,” Ponting said.

The Australian added, “If he’s actually able to travel and be around the team, then I want him sitting beside me in the dugout every day of the week. I’ll certainly be making sure, come the middle of March when we get together in Delhi and start our camps and stuff, if he’s able to be there, then I want him around the whole time.”

Earlier, Delhi Capitals’ newly-elected Director of Cricket, Sourav Ganguly, confirmed that Rishabh Pant will be out of the IPL 2023. According to Pant’s medical condition, the Indian batter could be sidelined for at least the next six months, which could have a significant impact on his selection for the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to take place in India in October-November. 

Recently, Pant underwent knee surgery after sustaining serious injuries in an accident on the NH-58 highway, where he lost control of his vehicle and hit the divider. He suffered cuts on his forehead, a severely bruised back, as well as injuries to his knee and ankle.

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