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Delhi Capital's Rishab Pant with team owner Parth Jindal at the team's first home match against Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday. Image Credit: DC Twitter

New Delhi: In the run-up to the Delhi Capitals’ match against Gujarat Titans at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Tuesday, there was huge anticipation among fans to have a glimpse of Rishabh Pant, who was present at the venue to watch the game.

Among the sea of fans who had worn shirts with jersey numbers of Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill and David Warner, there were cricket enthusiasts who wore shirts donning No 17 and were excitedly chatting among themselves during the metro ride on a chance to have a glimpse of Pant while watching the game.

Confidence booster

Shyam Sharma, the DDCA Director, believed that coming to the stadium for the first time after surviving a horrific car accident last year, did a whole lot of good for Pant.

“He himself felt very good. He also walked by himself from gate No 7 till inside and even climbed the stairs too. He was also feeling that it would be a good exercise and his confidence increased too,” Sharma told IANS.

Different atmosphere

“From his point of view, it was great as he was at home for so many days. He also went to the dressing room, where he met players and teams. It made for a very different atmosphere as he also sat with team owners and talked for a long time to Jay Shah (BCCI Secretary) and Rajiv Shukla (BCCI Vice-President),” he added.

Dressed in a white shirt, black shorts and donning dark glasses, Pant arrived at the venue in a white car, with his right knee still having a compression brace and bruises around elbow still present.

For a youngster who has seen walls of hospital and home more than cricket grounds in the last few months, getting to experience and feel live cricket action must have been a refreshing change for Pant.

Positive vibes

“There were a lot of positive vibes with his coming to the stadium. He was happy and his willpower is also very high to recover. I spoke to him about his recovery. He said, ‘Don’t worry bhaiya. I will come out of it quickly’,” added Sharma, one of the very first senior DDCA officials who received the 25-year-old at the venue.

Around the third over of Delhi’s innings with the bat, he was spotted seated in the Delhi Capitals’ lounge area, alongside co-owner Parth Jindal. Whenever the camera panned towards him during the match, he also stood and waved gently towards the fans who were chanting his name loudly.

“Also, one of the biggest things was that spectators were thrilled to see him in the stadium. He also interacted with some of them while standing. Despite him not playing, I heard from many fans that they had come to see Rishabh Pant, which was just amazing,” concluded Sharma.