The good Samaritans who came to Rishabh Pant's rescue

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Rishabh Pant was involved in a road accident on December 30
Rishabh Pant was involved in a road accident on December 30 © BCCI

The only connect with cricket for him is that he comes from a village called Ballah - loosely translated that is a bat in English. Otherwise, Sushil, a bus driver who works for the Haryana Road Transport Corporation, is not kicked up about the game and there is no way he would know who Rishabh Pant is.

Things were quite serious on Friday morning, when he saw a wobbly car crash into the road divider and tumble into his side of the road. It was not a pleasant sight but he stopped his bus to attend to the passenger inside.

"We were coming in a different direction. I was returning from Haridwar and he was driving from Delhi. There is a road divider in between. We had stopped our bus at Gurukul Narsan. At that place the speed automatically comes down, we drive around 45 kmph. I have seen a vehicle coming from a distance wobbling from one side to the other," Sushil recalled while speaking to Cricbuzz.

Sushil was taken aback by the sudden turn of events on the road in the wee hours of Friday morning and still remembers the accident scene from which Pant miraculously escaped from.

"I was expecting it would crash and in just 10 seconds it rammed into the divider. It breached the divider and had three-four tumbles and then came into our side of the road. I was expecting it to crash but did not know it would come to our side. I stopped my vehicle, and saw the car in flames."

The conductor of the bus, Paramjeet, adds, "It happened at around 5.14-15 AM, right in front of our eyes. We pulled him out and we thought he was dead. We actually kept him on the divider. I told the driver to check the vehicle if there is anyone else. By then a few passengers came out of our bus. At that stage, the vehicle exploded and we all moved away from the burning car. Soon, he became conscious and told us no one else is in the car. I asked him who he was and he told us he is an India cricketer."

Sushil said he has no fascination for cricket but he was happy to help. "Whoever he was, we would have done what we have. He asked for water and we gave him a little. It was my duty, anyone in that place would have done what we have. No credit is due. I just performed my humanitarian responsibility. I did not know he is such a big star of Indian cricket, I thought he is just like any other person. Anyone would have done the same I suppose."

His colleague shares that thought. "First of all, the question never arises why we did. Because we are always on the road. It could happen to us someday. My parents have given me that much culture that we should help the needy. If a passenger says he has no money to buy the ticket, I let him travel. Who knows when such a fate would befall me or my parents," said Paramhjeet, the 30-year-old conductor who comes from Golli, just a few kilometres away from Sushil's village.

Was there any call from Rishabh family? "No, he himself wanted to call his mother in that semi-conscious state. A bus passenger dialed his mother's number but it was switched off," said Paramjeet. The driver dialled No 112 for the police station and the conductor called 108 for the ambulance. In about 20 minutes, the ambulance arrived and they saw Pant off.

Since the incident, there have been many calls to the two good Samaritans. The Haryana Government has reportedly announced an award for them but they said no credit is due. "We do not want any awards. We are employees of the Haryana government and we did what we had to, or any human would do. We will be happy if Rishabh Pant gets well soon and his Ballah does the talking again," said Sushil.