Rishabh Pant
File Photo: Cricketer Rishabh Pant receives medical treatment at Max Hospital as he got injured in an accident while returning from Delhi to Roorkee after his car collided with the divider on the Narsan border of Roorkee. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: Star Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant says that doctors raised the prospect of amputating his leg after the serious car crash that threatened to end his cricket career.

The 26-year-old is set to play for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League starting this month after a 14-month absence following the accident.

He is also in contention for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States in June if all goes well on his comeback in the IPL.

Pant said his long layoff had taken a toll on him physically and mentally, but knows it could have been far worse.

"When my accident happened I felt something spiritual saved me," Pant, who missed the last season of the IPL, told Wednesday's Times of India.

"With the kind of accident I had, I only got my knee injured, but I can't even imagine how much worse it could have been.

"Doctors even spoke to me about amputation."

Multipe injuries

Pant crashed his Mercedes SUV north of New Delhi in December 2022, suffering multiple injuries when the car rammed into a crash barrier, flipped over and caught fire.

He was rushed to hospital before being airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

An intensive rehabilitation programme followed with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as he recovered from a damaged ligament in his right knee, a hurt wrist and ankle, and abrasions to his back.

Pant said he had been "anxiously waiting" to be declared fit and had been distressed to sit out last year's ODI World Cup at home.

"It was very upsetting. We discussed with the NCA team that we will take a shot at the World Cup. All of us tried 200 percent, but my knee couldn't take the load," he said.

Gruelling format

Pant had also hoped to be fit for India's 4-1 Test series win over England which concluded on the weekend, but said the cricket board had not wanted to rush him back into the gruelling format.

The swashbuckling player said the accident had changed his whole outlook.

"Gratitude towards life has increased a lot. You start appreciating small things about life."

Pant has played for India 129 times across all three formats since making his international debut in 2017.

He was replaced as skipper of Delhi Capitals by David Warner last year.