- Nasima Akter
Rishabh Pant Spotted at DC's IPL Home Match
Delhi Capitals had a special guest at their first home match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, and it was none other than their regular skipper Rishabh Pant. The wicketkeeper-batter is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident late last year and arrived at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi to watch his team take on the Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans.
Pant was seen walking slowly toward the stands and was later photographed watching the match. While the player was still in crutches, he received a warm welcome from officials and greeted a few people with a hug. He then cheered on his team as they played.
Before Pant's Arrival
Just before the match against the Gujarat Titans, the team made a small video to wish Pant a speedy recovery, and his teammates' heartfelt messages showed how much they miss their skipper.
Prithvi Shaw, Pant's dear friend and Delhi batter, hoped that Pant was recovering well and taking baby steps towards recovery. He added that they all missed him and wanted him to get back on the field as soon as possible. Axar Patel, the team's bowling all-rounder, also expressed his desire to see Pant back on the ground soon, enjoying the game with his teammates.
All-rounder Rovman Powell, who was brought on board for DC at INR 2.80 Crore, was excited to know that Pant was coming to see the match. He wished him all the best and hoped that he would recover soon. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav, right-arm fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Mitchell Marsh also had something to say for Pant before the match.
Opening Match Appreciation
The video was not the only time the team showed that they missed Pant. During the opening game against Lucknow Super Giants, the DC team had hung Pant's jersey No. 17 on the roof of the dug-out as a gesture to show that he is "always with the team in spirit".
They had even shared a photo of the jersey on their social media page with the caption, "Always in our dugout. Always in our team.'
However, this gesture has been deemed "over the top" by an IPL source, who stated that it should only be reserved for ultimate tragedy or retirement.
Despite this, the Delhi Capitals will be honoring Pant by inscribing his jersey number on all the players during one of the games when the team will wear a different color.
Delhi Capitals Status
Unfortunately, the team lost their campaign opener against Lucknow Super Giants by 50 runs, but the presence of Pant at their first home match will no doubt be a boost for the team as they look to bounce back and make a strong showing in the IPL 2023.
Pant's last appearance for Team India was a week before the accident, where he scored 92 runs in a Test match against Bangladesh. He has, however, been active on social media and recently delighted fans by featuring in a promotional video.
Currently, David Warner is leading the Delhi Capitals team in Pant's absence, with Axar Patel as his deputy. In the match against Gujarat Titans, Abhishek Porel is making his debut as Pant's replacement. Sarfaraz Khan kept wickets in the team's first game.