You are nineteen, just warming up to embark on an important new journey. You’re a budding Cricketer. You harbor dreams of playing Cricket at the highest level, you dream of representing India. You do everything right. In one of your first-class games, you score a splendid triple century, rewriting a few records. You follow it up with a brilliant 48-ball hundred. As a result, you earn an India call-up, in T20s against England, but hardly get an opportunity to show-off your skills. But the day you scored that smashing 48-ball hundred, you were bought by the Daredevils for 1.8 Crores, with a base price from 10 lacs. You have a great opportunity to showcase your skills during the impending IPL, you think. Days pass by. India edge past Australia in a thrilling series. The final scoreline reads 2-1. You’re delirious for Team India. And finally, the day arrives. Before you know it, you’re in the middle of a conditioning camp with Delhi Daredevils. Meanwhile, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad kick off the IPL. Just when you’re gearing up for your first ever IPL game, a bolt, out of the blue hits you. The Phone rings, and you’re being told your 53-year old father is no more. The world around you seems to be collapsing. You are inconsolable and have to rush to Haridwar to perform the last rites.
Rishabh Pant, who had joined the Delhi Daredevils with great zeal and enthusiasm, had to rush back even before his Team could play a game after his Father, Rajendra Pant, 53, suddenly passed away. As a teenager, dealing with the loss of a parent is extremely difficult. He rushed back, performed the last rites, and decided he wanted to join the Team ahead of their first game, because that’s what his father would have wanted him to do, at any cost. It takes an extremely brave, composed and resolute to be able to do what Pant did. It’s never easy to cope with the loss of a parent. Everyone has their own way. Pant chose his. He resolutely decided to do what his father would have wanted to do. He joined the Team and was a part of the Playing XI for the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His appearance itself was a special one, after all, that he had been through 48 hours before the game. What he delivered just spoke volumes about the character he’s made of. As Chris Morris put it, “it takes a big person to come a couple of days after your father passed away and play for your Team. It shows his character. I’m sure he’s gonna be a big player for India in the near future.”
Pant walked into bat – the most demanding aspect when dealing with what Pant was going through as you can constantly feel the fluttering of emotions – with Delhi down 55/3, chasing 158 to win. Pant, right off his first ball, scampered down the track and hit Iqbal Abdulla into the stands, over the mid-wicket area. Right then, it was evident that Delhi’s flimsy-looking batting line-up would rely heavily on the bereaving southpaw if they entertained any chance of getting close to 158. Pant strategically launched an offensive on the RCB spinners and when Morris was out with the Team still needing 52 off 41, Pant assumed the role of a leader and lead the chase belligerently and after a host of wonderful shots that displayed his rich repertoire, Pant was finally out trying to slog Pavan Negi, when the Daredevils were eventually left to get 19 off the last over, after Mishra missed four balls, going for glory. The game might eventually have been lost, but the southpaw won hearts for playing a tremendous knock in the wake of a huge personal tragedy. More power to you and your family, Rishabh! Cricket Shots salutes you and your effort.