Rishabh Pant BANNED by BCCI for RCB vs DC Game, Axar Patel to lead Delhi Capitals
Image: IPL

RCB vs DC: In a big blow to Delhi Capitals (DC) ahead of their crucial fixture against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), captain Rishabh Pant has been handed a one-match ban for multiple breaches in the over-rate rules. Pant will no longer take part in the RCB vs DC fixture at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting, on the eve of his team’s fixture against RCB, announced that Axar Patel, who is the deputy to Pant, will lead the side.

“Axar Patel will be our captain tomorrow,” DC’s head coach Ricky Ponting said on the eve of the match in Bengaluru.

Notably, Rishabh Pant’s one-match ban relates to IPL’s slow over-rate penalties. Pant has committed three such breaches so far and thus suspension was slapped by the officials. DC maintained a slow over-rate against Rajasthan Royals on May 7th as they were 10 minutes behind the game.

Along with a match ban, Rishabh Pant has been slapped with a penalty of INR 30 lakhs. The rest of the DC players, including the impact substitute, have been fined INR 12 lakhs or 50 per cent of their match fee, whichever is lower.

Though Delhi Capitals (DC) challenged the match officials ruling, the BCCI ombudsman upheld the charges levelled against Rishabh Pant and stated that the decision of the match referee is final and binding.

With DC still in the IPL 2024 playoff race, Rishabh Pant’s absence is going to be a huge setback for them. The team has fared decently under Rishabh Pant, with them winning six out of 12 matches. The last four games have resulted in three wins and a solitary loss, which has helped Delhi to be in the playoff race.

Ricky Ponting, during the eve of the RCB vs DC fixture, confirmed that Axar Patel will lead the side and is excited to be in the role.

Rishabh Pant BANNED by BCCI for RCB vs DC Game, Axar Patel to lead Delhi Capitals
Image: IPLT20

“He’s obviously been vice-captain of this franchise now for the last couple of seasons. Obviously, very experienced IPL player, an experienced international player, a very sensible guy, who understands the game really well. He’s really excited, to be honest,” said Ponting.

“We started talking about it a couple of days ago when there was a possibility that Rishabh might be banned, so he’s got his head around it, we’ve done our bowlers’ meetings today. He’ll catch up with all the guys tonight, go through all the plans, and make sure he’s ready to lead the team well tomorrow. What I know about him is, that you’ve only got to watch the way he goes about his cricket to understand that he is a sensible guy who’s always involved and in tune with the game, so I’m sure he’ll lead the team really well tomorrow.”

Delhi Capitals (DC) is among the 8 sides who are competing for the IPL 2024 playoffs. While Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings are the only two sides, that have been eliminated, the rest are still in contention some way or the other. Delhi’s playoff chances mostly rely on their performances in the next two games, along with the luck factor.

If Delhi manages to win both of its remaining matches, it will reach 16 points. Notably, CSK can also reach a total of 16 points if they win both of their games as well. However, the key differentiator at that position would be the net run rate, which isn’t in Delhi’s favour as of now.

Delhi Capitals (DC) will lock horns against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the second game of the Sunday doubleheader on May 12th. The fixture will be held at RCB’s Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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