New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday sympathised with injured Shikhar Dhawan for his exit in the middle of the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Tendulkar also wished Rishabh Pant, who has replaced Dhawan in the 15-man squad. The member of the 2011 World Cup winning team, Tendulkar said there cannot be a bigger platform for Pant to express himself.
"Feel for you Shikhar. You were playing well & to be injured in the middle of such an important tournament is heartbreaking. I'm sure you'll come back stronger than ever. Rishabh you've been playing well & there can't be a bigger platform to express yourself. Good luck!" Tendulkar tweeted.
ICC on Wednesday approved wicket-keeper batsman Pant as a replacement for injured batsman Dhawan in India's squad for the remainder of the tournament. Dhawan expressed his gratitude to Indian cricket fans, saying it is time for him to go back and recover after getting ruled out of the remainder of the 50-over tournament.
In a video shared by Dhawan on Twitter, the left-hander batsman said: "Unfortunately, my thumb won't be recovering on time. I really wanted to play the World Cup and represent my country. Now it's time for me to go back and recover well and be ready for the next selection." The opening batsman further said that he is sure India will do good and win the World Cup trophy. Dhawan also asked fans to continue their support and signed off, saying, "Love you all, take care." "I'm sure boys (are) doing a great job at the moment and going to do really great and win the World Cup. Keep praying for us and keep supporting us. Your support and prayers are very very important and very dear to us. Thank you all again for all your support and love. Love you all, take care," he said.
BCCI had requested the ICC to bring in Pant as a replacement of injured Dhawan, who is currently nursing an injury on the back of his left hand in the region between the index finger and thumb.
During a fixture against Australia on June 9, he was hit by a Pat Cummins bouncer. However, Dhawan went onto play a match-winning knock of 117 off 109 balls which helped India secure a 36-run win.
"Dhawan has a fracture on the base of his first metacarpal on his left hand. Based on several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast till mid-July, which rules him out of the World Cup. We have requested ICC to allow Rishabh Pant to be as a replacement," India team manager Sunil Subramaniam had said in a press conference. India will take on Afghanistan on June 22 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.