Team Punjab captain KL Rahul has been hospitalized owing to acute appendicitis, an infection of the appendix – the 3 ½-inch-long pouch of tissue attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen, and will miss Punjab's Indian T20 League clash with Delhi.

“KL Rahul complained of severe abdomen pain last night and after not responding to the medication, he was taken to the emergency room for further tests which revealed that he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis,” read a statement from Team Punjab.

“It will be resolved surgically and for safety measures, he has been transferred to the hospital for the same,” the social media post further read.

This comes as a major blow for Punjab, who have struggled for results in the 2021 Indian T20 League season so far. In seven matches, Punjab have won just thrice and despite their poor run of form KL Rahul has been performing admirably well. The opener sits at the top of the highest run-scorers (orange cap) list with 331 runs.

Rahul's best came in Punjab's last match against Bangalore where he was unbeaten on 91 to guide his team to give a steep target of 180 runs to Bangalore that Punjab eventually won. KL Rahul has averaged 66.20 this season at a strike rate of 136.21. He has scored four half-centuries this season already.

While there is no timeframe for his return, it remains to be seen who will lead Punjab in Rahul’s absence. The most realistic options they have right now are Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle. Punjab play Delhi today at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Team Punjab currently sit fifth in the Indian T20 League points table with six points from seven matches having a net run rate of -0.264.

More to follow...

Featured photo: AFP / Sajjad Hussain