"Ramp Till Dugout": Rishabh Pant Promised Grand Welcome At Delhi Capitals Home Games In IPL
Rishabh Pant will miss the entirety of IPL 2023 due to injury.
Ahead of the start of the 2023 Indian Premier League season, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) director Shyam Sharma has said that the association is ready to host star Delhi Capitals batter and former skipper Rishabh Pant at the Arun Jaitley Stadium for his team's home matches and will create a special ramp for him. Rishabh Pant is recovering from injuries sustained in a horrific car accident last year. The 2023 season of the Indian Premier League will start on Friday with the clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad. Delhi Capitals will kickstart their IPL campaign against Lucknow Super Giants from April 1. DC will play their first home game against Gujarat Titans on April 4 at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi.
"We are ready to host Rishabh Pant at the ground if he feels okay and Delhi Capitals allows it. We will take care of everything for him, be it picking him up from home or dropping him back. We will also create a special ramp till the dugout for his access," Sharma told ANI.
Ricky Ponting has expressed his desire to have Rishabh Pant at the dugout for all home games.
"I have spoken to Rishabh a bit. We are hoping to get him involved this season. I would love to have him at all our home games. Having him in our dugout or our change room will be very special. However, David Warner will do a great job. He has been a successful franchise cricket captain in the past. He's excited to lead the team as well," Delhi Capitals quoted Ponting as saying.
In the previous season, Delhi Capitals had finished at the fifth position in the points table with seven wins and an equal number of losses with a total of 14 points. They narrowly missed out on a playoff spot.
Delhi Capitals earlier had announced David Warner as captain for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. Warner has stepped in for Rishabh Pant.
All-rounder Axar Patel was been named the team's vice captain. The franchise also announced former India captain Sourav Ganguly as the franchise's Director of Cricket. Ganguly has been associated with Delhi Capitals in the past too, in the role of mentor, during the 2019 season.
Delhi Capitals are likely to sign Bengal's Abishek Porel as a replacement for Pant ahead of IPL 2023, ESPNcricinfo reported.
The signing of Porel, which has not yet been formally confirmed, follows a number of training matches at a week-long training camp in New Delhi.
Apart from being observed by the Capitals coaching staff, which is led by director of cricket Sourav Ganguly and head coach Ricky Ponting, Porel and three other uncapped wicketkeepers, Sheldon Jackson, Luvnith Sisodia, and Vivek Singh, have been put through a series of match simulation drills over the past week.
The Capitals' gamble on Porel follows his first complete domestic cricket season with Bengal when he impressed with his glove work but struggled to put up large runs across formats.
He scored 22 runs in his three games for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, including an undefeated knock of 20. In first-class cricket, he has marginally better stats, managing 695 runs at an average of over 30 with six half-centuries across 26 innings with a best of 73.
Porel could still be a backup option for wicketkeeping, as the team is eager to test Sarfaraz Khan at the position. Throughout the past three domestic seasons, Sarfaraz has been in excellent batting shape.
Delhi Capitals squad strength: 25 players (Overseas 8)
Players bought in IPL 2023 auction: Ishant Sharma (Rs 50 lakh), Phil Salt (Rs 2 crore), Mukesh Kumar (Rs 5.5 crore), Manish Pandey (Rs 2.4 crore), Rilee Rossouw (Rs 4.60 crore).
Players retained - Rishabh Pant (c), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Ripal Patel, Rovman Powell, Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Khaleel Ahmed, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Aman Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Praveen Dubey, Vicky Ostwal.