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India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was rescued from his car crash on Friday morning by a Haryana Roadways employee Sushil Kumar, who was driving a passenger bus on the opposite of the road when the accident occurred. Sushil and the conductor of the bus Paramjeet were among the people who helped Pant out of his car.
Pant, 25, is being treated for multiple injuries at a hospital in Dehradun, but MRI scans on his brain and spine were normal and his condition was stable. MRI scans on his ankle and knee were not done on Friday because of pain and swelling.
The accident occurred around 5.30 am according to police, when Pant's car hit the divider of the road and flipped over before catching fire. He was driving towards his hometown Roorkee in Uttarakhand from Delhi.
"I am a driver with Haryana Roadways, Panipat depot," Kumar told Hindustan Times. "Our bus left Haridwar at 4.25 in the morning. I was on my way when I saw a car being driven at a lot of speed get off balance and crash into the divider. After the impact, the car landed on the wrong side of the road - the one that goes to Delhi. The car had screeched onto the second lane of the road, seeing which I immediately applied the brakes. The car had already caught sparks so I and the conductor rushed to get him out of the car. By then the fire has started. Then, three more people came running and got him on a safe side.
"I called the National Highway, no one answered. Then I rang up the police and the conductor called for an ambulance. We kept asking him he is he fine. Offered him some water. After regrouping, he told us he is Rishabh Pant. I don't follow cricket so I didn't know who he was but my conductor [Paramjeet] then told me 'Sushil... he is an India cricketer'.
"He gave us his mother's number. We called her but her phone was switched off. The ambulance arrived after 15 minutes and we got in him … I asked him if he was alone in the car. He said there is no one."
Pant was initially taken to a local hospital - Saksham Hospital Multispecialty and Trauma Centre - where he was treated for impact injuries before being moved to the Max Hospital in Dehradun.
Pant was not part of the India squads for the T20I and ODI home series against Sri Lanka beginning on January 3. He was due to head to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for strength and conditioning before the Test series against Australia in February.
He most recently played a match-winning innings of 93 in the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur, which helped India win the series 2-0.