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India's wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant attends a practice session ahead of their ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Star wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will captain Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, returning to cricket after being seriously hurt in a car crash in 2022, the club said Tuesday.

“Grit and fearlessness have always dictated his brand of cricket,” club chairman and co-owner Parth Jindal said in statement, adding the team were “delighted” to welcome him back as skipper.

“I can’t wait to see him walk our team out once again as we look forward to a new season with renewed passion, vigour and enthusiasm,” Jindal added.

Pant crashed his Mercedes SUV north of New Delhi before dawn 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.

Intensive rehab

Pant has been on an intensive rehabilitation programme since surviving the crash with a damaged ligament in his right knee, a hurt wrist and ankle, and abrasions to his back.

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

It is hoped Pant could play for India at the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States in June.

Team co-owner Kiran Kumar Grandhi said Pant had “worked incredibly hard during one of the most challenging phases of his life”.

The latest instalment of the IPL will begin on March 22, with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first match.

The Delhi Capitals face the Punjab Kings in their first IPL match on March 23.

The IPL is the world’s richest cricket league and has proven a cash bonanza for both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and top players.