Rishabh Pant can play T20 World Cup if he can keep wicket – BCCI secretary Jay Shah

Rishabh Pant, who is set to make his long-awaited comeback in the IPL later this month, can play the T20 World Cup for India “if he can keep [wicket],” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah. Pant has been out of action since a horrific car accident in December 2022.

“He is batting well, he is keeping well. We will declare him fit very soon,” Shah told PTI. “If he can play the T20 World Cup for us, that will be a big thing for us. He is a big asset for us. If he can keep, he can play the World Cup. Let’s see how he does in the IPL.”

The accident had left Pant with a severe right knee injury that required a ligament reconstruction surgery besides a fractured wrist and ankle.

His head coach at Delhi Capitals, Ricky Ponting, had already said that Pant would play the IPL. Last month, Capitals’ co-owner Parth Jindal told ESPNcricinfo that Pant “has started his wicketkeeping”. Jindal also said Pant was “likely to be fully fit for the IPL” and that he expected Pant to “lead from match one”.

Shami expected to be back later this year

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who is recuperating from an ankle surgery, is expected to make his comeback during the home Test series against Bangladesh later this year, Shah said. Shami underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon in London in February.

Shami missed the five-match Test series against England, and will also sit out of the IPL. He last played for India in the 2023 ODI World Cup, where he was a standout performer. India will host Bangladesh for two Tests and three T20 internationals in September.

“Shami’s surgery is done; he is back in India,” Shah said. “Shami’s return is likely for the home series against Bangladesh. KL Rahul needed an injection, he has started rehab and is at the NCA.”

Rahul missed the last four Tests of the England series after complaining of pain in his right quadriceps. He is expected to turn out for Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, having undergone treatment in London. However, it is understood that Rahul still awaiting clearance to join Super Giants.

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