The much-awaited Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024) is expected to be played from March to May. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is yet to announce the IPL 2024 schedule.
As per media reports, the reason in the delay is this year's general elections. The IPL 2024 schedule will depend a lot on the election schedule and the BCCI is expected to announce the schedule only after the dates for the elections are confirmed. As per media reports, the seventeenth edition of the IPL is scheduled to begin on March 22 while the final is scheduled to take place on May 26.
Will Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni play IPL 2024:
One of the reasons why fans are eagerly waiting for IPL 2024 to begin is to see MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant in action. MS Dhoni has not played any competitive game since leading Chennai Super Kings to title in IPL 2023. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant missed the entire IPL 2023 and has not played a competitive game since December 2022 as he was sidelined after the horrific car accident.
So will MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant play IPL 2024? While only time will tell if they play in IPL 2024 or not, we are looking at how things are at the present moment.
MS Dhoni's availability:
MS Dhoni looks set to don the CSK jersey once again. In fact, the former India skipper has already started training in the nets for the next IPL season. While many expected him to retire from IPL after guiding CSK to title last year, he has decided to play at least one more season.
He had struggled with a knee injury throughout IPL 2023 and underwent a surgery as soon as the tournament ended. The legendary cricketer has fully recovered now and is all set for one more IPL season. He will have the opportunity to make CSK the first team to win the IPL six times.
"Circumstantially if you see, this is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love and affection I have been shown wherever I have been this year, the easy thing would be for me to say "Thank you very much", but the tough thing for me is to work hard for another 9 months and come back and play at least 1 more season of IPL," Dhoni had said last year.
Rishabh Pant's availability:
While MS Dhoni is looking set to play in IPL 2024, not much can be said about Rishabh Pant at this time. The India star is yet to play competitive cricket since the car accident in 2022. Many expected him to return to action in the ongoing Test series against England but he is reportedly still not fully fit for competitive cricket.
Reports also suggest that even if he manages to play in IPL 2024, he is likely to play as a specialist batsman. Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting recently gave an update on the Pant, saying that the wicketkeeper is confident of playing the entire IPL. Ponting, however, is still not convinced that Pant would be able to play the whole tournament.
"Rishabh is very confident that he's going to be right to play. In what capacity we're not quite sure yet. You would have seen all the social-media stuff, he's up and about and running well. But in saying that we're only six weeks away from the first game as well. So we're not sure if we'll get wicketkeeping out of him this year," Ponting said.
"But I'll guarantee if I asked him now he'll say, 'I'm playing every game, I'm keeping every game and I'm batting at No.4.' That's just what he's like, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
"He's such a dynamic player. He's obviously our captain. We missed him incredibly last year. If you understand the journey he's been on the last 12-13 months, it was a horrific incident. One that I know he feels very lucky to have even survived, let alone have the chance to play cricket again," he added.
Delhi Capitals will be hoping that Pant recovers in time for IPL 2024 and helps them perform well after a forgettable campaign last season. The Delhi-based outfit finished at the ninth spot in the ten-team competition after managing 5 wins in 14 games.