Indian cricket star Rishabh Pant 'dozed off' before fireball car crash, local police say

Indian cricket star Rishabh Pant is facing the prospect of a lengthy injury spell after a horror car crash that forced him to punch his way out of the vehicle when it burst into flames.

Police in the northern state of Uttarakhand said the wicketkeeper-batsman told officers he had "dozed off" while at the wheel of the car, believed to be a Mercedes, in the early hours of Friday morning.

The car was understood to have flipped over twice when it hit the central reservation.

Despite multiple injuries, Pant managed to break a window and escape when he realised it was on fire, police added.

India's cricket board (BCCI) said in a statement that the 25-year-old had suffered cuts to his forehead, torn a ligament in his right knee and hurt his right wrist, ankle and toe.

He also had many abrasion injuries on his back, it said.

"Rishabh's condition remains stable, and he has now been shifted to Max Hospital, Dehradun, where he will undergo MRI scans to ascertain the extent of his injuries and formulate his further course of treatment," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said.

"The board will see to it that Rishabh receives the best possible medical care and gets all the support he needs to come out of this traumatic phase," Shah added.

Local media reported that the player's trip to Roorkee was supposed to be a surprise for his mother ahead of the New Year.

Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar told the Reuters news agency: "Pant had told the local police that he lost control of his car after he dozed off for a couple of seconds. The police is investigating the case."

Pant was part of the India test squad that sealed a 2-0 series victory over Bangladesh this month.

Ricky Ponting, head coach of Pant's Indian Premier League side Delhi Capitals, tweeted: "Hope you're on the mend and back on your feet soon."