India wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant’s first statement since his life-threatening accident on December 30 sent the internet into a frenzy on Monday.
I may not have been able to thank everyone individually, but I must acknowledge these two heroes who helped me during my accident and ensured I got to the hospital safely. Rajat Kumar & Nishu Kumar, Thank you. I'll be forever grateful and indebted 🙏♥️ pic.twitter.com/iUcg2tazIS
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) January 16, 2023
“I am humbled and grateful for all the support and good wishes,” Rishabh Pant wrote on Twitter. “I am glad to let you know that my surgery was a success. The road to recovery has begun and I am ready for the challenges ahead.”
“I may not have been able to thank everyone individually, but I must acknowledge these two heroes who helped me during my accident and ensured I got to the hospital safely. Rajat Kumar & Nishu Kumar, thank you. I’ll be forever grateful and indebted,” he added.
“From the bottom of my heart, I also would like to thank all my fans, team-mates, doctors and the physios for your kind words and encouragement. Looking forward to see you all on the field,” the left-hander said in another tweet.
The 25-year-old cricketer’s “road to recovery” post comes days after a report in a prominent cricket publication claimed that he will not be available for the Indian Premier League (IPL), and the World Test Championship final in June.
The website claimed that all three ligaments in Rishabh Pant’s knee were damaged in the horrific car crash he suffered in Uttarakhand late last month.
Two of his ligaments have already been reconstructed after Pant underwent twin surgeries at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai. He will have to be operated on again after six weeks to fix his third ligament in the knee.
According to the media outlet, “all three ligaments in the knee – anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, and medial collateral ligament, which are necessary for movement and stability – have been torn in Pant’s case. It is understood that in the surgery conducted recently, both the PCL and MCL were reconstructed. Pant will need to undergo another surgery to reconstruct his ACL, but the doctors will wait for at least six weeks before going ahead with it.”
As a result, Rishabh Pant is expected to remain sidelined for a minimum of six months, throwing his selection for the ODI World Cup in October-November in limbo.
Previously, the BCCI announced that the 25-year-old cricketer underwent knee surgery on his right ligaments after they were torn in the accident that took place last month when he was on his way to surprise his mother in Roorkee.
After undergoing initial treatment at the Max Hospital in Dehradun, Rishabh Pant was airlifted to Mumbai by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Being a centrally contracted player, Rishabh Pant’s treatment is the BCCI’s prerogative and with his treatment not going as expected in Dehradun, the Indian cricket board decided to put him under the direct supervision of Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala, the Head of Centre for Sports Medicine and Director of Arthroscopy & Shoulder Service at the Mumbai-based hospital.
Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala has previously treated other marquee names of Indian cricket, including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, current pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and 2011 World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh and other prominent athletes of the country.
Widely regarded as the best wicketkeeper-batter in Tests, Rishabh Pant has scored 2169 runs in 54 innings in the whites, including five centuries and 10 half-centuries. He has a stunning strike rate of 73.10 and averages 43.48 in the longest format of the game.
Last month, he powered India to a 2-0 whitewash of Bangladesh in the Test series in the neighboring country. In the process, Rishabh Pant joined a select band of Indian wicketkeepers, including former captain MS Dhoni to complete 4,000 runs in international cricket.
Members of Team India, including coach Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Hardik Pandya earlier, wished Rishabh Pant a speedy recovery.
“Rishabh, hope you are doing well. Hope you get well soon. Over the last one year, I have had the privilege of watching you play some of the greatest innings in Indian Test history. Whenever we have been in difficult situations, you have got the character to get ourselves out of very difficult situations. This is one such challenge, I know you are gonna bounce back like you have done so many times this year. Look forward to having you back soon buddy,” Rahul Dravid said in a video shared by the BCCI.
“Hi Rishabh, just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery. I know you have been a fighter and things are not the way you would have liked, but life is life. You will break all the doors and make a comeback as you have always done. My love and wishes are with you. The whole team and nation are behind you,” Hardik Pandya said.