In a much-anticipated return, Rishabh Pant is gearing up to re-enter the cricketing arena, and all signs point to his active participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The Delhi Capitals have officially announced Pant as their captain for the 2024 IPL season, marking his return to the field after nearly a year on the sidelines.

Pant, currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, is on track to regain full fitness by the end of February. However, his appearance in IPL matches is contingent upon receiving the green light from NCA.

The 26-year-old cricketer, recovering from right knee surgery following an accident last year, has also battled back and ankle injuries. While uncertainties linger about Pant’s ability to take on wicketkeeping duties, franchise officials clarify that his role will be contingent on clearance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“If he is not keeping, he will definitely be on the field and will lead the side,” affirmed a franchise official as quoted by Cricbuzz, putting to rest speculations about Pant being limited to the role of an Impact Player. His absence was quite evident in the previous IPL season, with Delhi Capitals finishing ninth on the points table.

Pant’s return is eagerly awaited, and the Delhi Capitals are banking on his leadership to reverse their fortunes in the upcoming season. Having missed crucial matches, including the IPL, series against Australia, the West Indies, and Ireland, and major tournaments like the Asia Cup and World Cup, Pant’s absence has been notable in India’s 62 international games since January 2023.

IPL auction list for 2024 edition announced by BCCI

In another significant development, it has been revealed that a total of 333 players, including 214 Indians and 119 overseas players, will be under the hammer in the mini-auction which is set to take place at the Coca-Cola arena in Dubai, on December 19. The highest bid’s reserve price is INR 2 crore, attracting 23 players, while 13 players have a base price of INR 1.5 crore. Players like Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, and Harry Brook are expected to be in demand in the auction.

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