What’s the story?
Ahead of the Delhi’s match against Mumbai on Saturday night, young Rishabh Pant revealed why cricket came before personal tragedy, saying it was important for him to overcome emotions.
"It (the knock against RCB in Delhi’s IPL opener) was emotionally the most difficult knock of my life, but my father wanted me to play cricket. He had a dream that I should play for India for a long time. That's why I played the match. He was the reason why I started to play cricket. I didn't want to think about what happened, but I had to play the match. Somehow, I managed it," Pant told TOI on Friday.
He also added that he found a healing touch in the IPL.
“It's helping me slightly because cricket is so intense, but that thing can't be forgotten, nor do I want to forget it," he said, while almost choking with emotion.
In case you didn’t know...
The Delhi Daredevils’ batsman scored a 36-ball 57 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru on April 8. The 19-year-old lost his father to a heart attack 2 days before the match and flew back to join the Delhi team hours after performing his father’s last rites.
The heart of the matter
Pant, the younger one of the two siblings, also added that it was his mother who encouraged him and told him not to miss the match, The 19-year-old Delhi boy thanked his team for being “supportive” and making sure that he got the space he needed at those trying times.
There are high chances that Pant, as a second keeper, may find himself a seat on the flight to England to play in the Champions Trophy which begins on June 1. For now, he will look to better his contributions in the Delhi outfit with his bat and gloves.
Sachin Tendulkar in 1999, Virat Kohli in 2008 and Rishabh Pant in 2007, these cricketers displayed character and professionalism to overcome personal tragedies and come back stronger on the cricket field. For Pant, who is still in his teens, the grit and determination he showed for cricket are incredible, to say the least.