If Rishabh Pant can keep wickets, he can play Men’s T20 World Cup, says Jay Shah

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has stated that Rishabh Pant could be in the mix for India's plans in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the USA

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has stated that Rishabh Pant could be in the mix for India’s plans in the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies if he can take up his wicket-keeping duties.

Pant, the left-handed wicketkeeper-batter, has not played competitive cricket ever since surviving a near-fatal car crash on December 30, 2022, while on the way to his hometown Roorkee. In Pant’s long absence, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma have emerged as wicketkeeping options in the shortest format for India.

Pant underwent ligament reconstruction surgery on his right knee, apart from injuries to his ankle, wrist, and toe, apart from abrasion injuries on his back and two cuts on the forehead. He went through extensive rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and is expected to make his long-awaited competitive cricket return for Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2024 season starting on March 22.

“He is batting well; he is keeping well. We will declare him fit very soon. If he can play in the T20 World Cup for us, that will be a big thing for us. He is a big asset for us. If he can keep, he can play in the World Cup. Let’s see how he does in the IPL,” Shah told reporters in Dharamshala after India won the Test series against England 4-1.

Fast-bowler Mohammed Shami is recovering after undergoing ankle surgery for an issue which kept him out of action after last year’s ODI World Cup final. With him missing IPL 2024 and the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, Shah said Shami’s international return could happen in the Test series against Bangladesh in September.

Wicketkeeper-batter K.L. Rahul, who has been dealing with a quadriceps injury after playing the first Test against England at Hyderabad, is in rehab at the NCA after seeing a consultant in London.

“Shami’s surgery is done; he is back in India. Shami’s return is likely for the home series against Bangladesh. KL Rahul needed an injection, he has started rehab and is at the NCA,” added Shah.

–IANS

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