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'Fully fit' Chahar ready to make comeback at IPL 2023

Fast bowler says he has recovered from a stress fracture and quad grade 3 tear following extensive rehab at the NCA

Deepak Chahar last played for India in December 2022  •  BCCI

Deepak Chahar last played for India in December 2022  •  BCCI

After struggling with two "big" injuries last year, India fast bowler Deepak Chahar says he is fully fit and set to make his comeback with the IPL, starting March 31.
Chahar, 30, has had a tough time recovering from a stress fracture and more recently a quad grade 3 tear. He last played for India in the second ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur last December, where he broke down after bowling three overs.
Chahar could only feature in 15 games for India in 2022, and was also ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to injury. Having done an extensive rehab at the National Cricket Academy, Chahar is now preparing for the IPL where he will represent the Chennai Super Kings.
"I have been working hard for the past two three months on my fitness, I am fully fit and preparing well for the IPL," Chahar told PTI. "I had two big injures. One was a stress fracture and one was a quad grade 3 tear. They are both very big injuries. You are out for months. Anyone who comes back after the injury it takes time, especially for the fast bowlers.
"If I was a batter, I would be playing way back, but as a fast bowler, when you have a stress fracture, it is very tough to get back on track. You can see other bowlers struggling with the back as well."
Chahar made a return to competitive cricket with a first-class game against Services last month but that was his only appearance in the Ranji Trophy.
Multiple injuries have pushed him down in the Indian pecking order but he hopes to be part of the team for the ODI World Cup at home later this year.
"I have lived by one rule all my life. If I am fully bowling the way I want, if I am batting the way I want, there is no stopping me. That was the basic rule with which I started my career.
"I don't care who is playing, who is not playing , my motive is to get fully fit and perform with the ball and bat 100%. If I do that, I will get my chances."
The men's IPL will be preceded by the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL), and Chahar could not be more excited for the new tournament.
"IPL changed men's cricket forever, people got a lot of opportunities. Same thing will happen with Women's Premier League. Women's cricket will grow very fast as they will face international players very early in their careers. It will also help a lot of women cricketers who have not been able to make money and will fuel competition."