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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Indian cricket star Pant thanks 'heroes' after horror crash

The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter crashed his Mercedes SUV north of New Delhi before dawn on December 30

By AFP
January 17, 2023
Indian cricket star Rishabh Pant has thanked two heroes who helped get him to hospital after his car crashed into a road divider and caught fire. — AFP/file
Indian cricket star Rishabh Pant has thanked "two heroes" who helped get him to hospital after his car crashed into a road divider and caught fire. — AFP/file

Indian cricket star Rishabh Pant has thanked "two heroes" who helped get him to hospital after his car crashed into a road divider and caught fire.

In his first public comments since the accident, Pant said he would be "forever grateful and indebted" to Rajat Kumar and Nishu Kumar, posting a photo of the duo at his hospital bed.

"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," Pant wrote on Twitter late Monday.

"Rajat Kumar [and] Nishu Kumar, Thank you. I'll be forever grateful and indebted."

The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter crashed his Mercedes SUV north of New Delhi before dawn on December 30.

He suffered multiple injuries when the car rammed into a crash barrier, flipped over and caught fire.

The 25-year-old was rushed to a local hospital in Dehradun before being airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

The Indian cricket board said that Pant suffered several injuries including a damaged ligament in his right knee, a hurt wrist and ankle, and abrasions on his back.

Pant tweeted Monday that his "road to recovery" had now begun and that an operation — reportedly on his knee — "was a success".

"I am humbled and grateful for all the support and good wishes... The road to recovery has begun and I am ready for the challenges ahead," he tweeted.

He also thanked the Indian cricket board and government authorities for their "incredible support".

"From the bottom of my heart, I also would like to thank all my fans, teammates, doctors and the physios for your kind words and encouragement. Looking forward to see you all on the field. #grateful #blessed."

Pant, who is the captain of the Delhi Capitals side in the Indian Premier League, is set to miss the cash-rich tournament due to start in late March or April.

He was also left out of the squads for the first two Tests of Australia's upcoming tour of India in February and March when the arch-rivals will play four Tests.

Pant is a mainstay of the Test squad and has played a key role in some of India's most memorable wins in the last three years.

This includes his brilliant 88 not out in the fourth and final Test in Australia in 2021 that helped India win the match and the series.