Rishabh Pant has joined Delhi Daredevils hours after performing the last rites of a deceased father, showing character and professionalism amidst the maelstrom of thoughts that may have crossed his mind. In his hour of darkness, a bereaved Pant overpowered grief and showed unwavering loyalty towards a team, for long seeking to find light at the end of the tunnel. On the eve of their IPL-10 opener, Delhi Daredevils coach Paddy Upton confirmed that Pant, 19, will do what two superstars of Indian cricket - Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli - had done in the past.
"Rishabh is joining us sometime in the evening," Upton said just before the talented player's arrival in the Garden City.
"The whole team will rally around Rishabh and give him support. He is a young man. It is very, very difficult, particularly when this happens in the family," the South African said.
In his hour of loss, Pant, perhaps, is thinking about gains for the team.
That the words of consolation came from Upton was appropriate, as the South African knows a thing or two about mental conditioning. The 48-year-old had worked as the mental conditioning coach of the India team which became number 1 in the world Test rankings and won the ICC World Cup in 2011.
According to reports in certain sections of the media, the rising batting star of Indian cricket suffered burn injuries on his leg while performing the last rites, which may force him to miss Daredevil's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Rishabh's father, who had been ill for a long time, passed away in Roorkee on Tuesday and the young Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper-batsman rushed home to attend to his father's funeral.
Many years ago, a young Kohli had overpowered grief to turn out for Delhi in a Ranji Trophy match soon after the death of his father and much before that, Tendulkar represented India in a World Cup match after paying homage to his father.