Dreams are coming true for young India stumper Risabh Pant day and day out. Close on the heels his amazing run in the just-concluded home series against England, Pant has been named to lead the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. The Southpaw minces no words in confessing that he always “harboured the dream”.
The opportunity, albeit, comes at the cost of Shreyas Iyer, who is ruled out with the injured left shoulder. Delhi Capitals Head Coach describes this as a tremendous opportunity for young Pant.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for young Rishabh, who is coming off successful stints against Australia and England which will no doubt give him the confidence needed to take on a new role that comes with a lot more responsibility. The coaching group is excited to work with him, and we can’t wait for the season to get started,” said Ponting while also showering rich praise for Iyer. “The previous two seasons under Shreyas’ leadership have been incredible, and the results speak for themselves.”
An excited Pant now looks forward to the new challenge as he gears up to his maiden IPL as the team leader. “Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began six years ago. To lead this team one day is a dream I’ve always harboured. And today, as that dream comes true, I feel humbled. I am truly grateful, especially to our team owners, who considered me capable enough for this role,” said Pant. “With an amazing coaching staff, and a plethora of accomplished seniors around me, I can’t wait to give my absolute best for Delhi Capitals.”
Iyer too backed Pant’s elevation as the skipper. “When I sustained the shoulder injury, and Delhi Capitals needed a leader for this edition of the IPL, I had no doubt that Rishabh would be the best man for the job. He has all my good wishes to make amazing things happen with our absolutely incredible team. I’m going to miss the team tremendously, and will be cheering for them throughout.”
Delhi Capitals on Tuesday evening had named Pant as Captain for the upcoming season of the IPL, scheduled to start on April 9. Pant will step in as captain for the 14th edition of the tournament, for the injured Iyer, who hurt his left shoulder during the recently concluded India-England ODI series.
Even Pant has displayed remarkable improvement behind the stumps and an incredible showing with the willow, filling the vacuum created by the Iyer’s absence will be no mean task. Iyer had led the Delhi-based the GMR-JSW co-owned combine to their maiden IPL final last year.
“There is no doubt that Shreyas Iyer’s leadership and batting will be missed this year, and we hope to see him back on the field soon,” said team co-owner Parth Jindal. “Delhi Capitals as a team plays a passionate and fearless brand of cricket, and Rishabh Pant embodies that best. The Delhi team has played an important role in his growth as a cricketer, just like he has played an equally important role in the growth of the Delhi team. I wish Rishabh and the team good luck.”
The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has captained Delhi’s state team in the past.