Premier Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya recalled his journey with the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) and also talked about the bond that he shares with the franchise owners Nita and Mukesh Ambani.
It’ll be fair to say that amongst all the IPL franchises, Mumbai Indians (MI) is the one team that believes in turning youngsters into superstars by giving them the desired support and backing them. The Rohit Sharma-led side no doubt finds the best out of them and gives them the license to express themselves.
The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya have been the product of the franchise and over the years these players have delivered some incredible performances to make Mumbai Indians the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League with five IPL trophies in their cabinet.
The way the franchise owners nurture their players has been spot on and one such success story is of Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder was brought in IPL 2015 auction for a base price of Rs.10 lakhs only. Since then he has risen in ranks and has turned into a completely different cricketer.
The 28-year-old has proved his mettle multiple times and won many matches on his own for Mumbai Indians and has played a pivotal role in their title victories in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
In an interaction with ESPNCricinfo, Hardik Pandya spoke about his journey with Mumbai Indians and revealed that a letter from Mukesh and Nita Ambani after his dad’s death left him in tears.
“Mumbai Indians have stood by me during my lows and highs. Recently when my dad passed away (In January 2021), Krunal and I got a letter from Mukesh Sir and Nita Ma’am, giving their condolences. For us it was very emotional. I started crying,” Hardik Pandya told ESPNCricinfo.
Pandya said that with Akash Ambani he never got the feeling that he is the team owner. He added that the former has been his tremendous friend and has always given him added motivation and support.
“Aakash has been a tremendous friend. I never get the feeling that he is the owner of our team and he is our boss. He has always given me added motivation and has always supported me,” he said.
Hardik Pandya concluded by saying that while he doesn’t ‘seek’ attention, he won’t mind intimidating the opposition because of his skills and batting prowess.
“I don’t seek attention. But I get attention because of who I am. If I go to the crease, because of the cricketer I am, they have to keep an eye on me because they know If I click, I can take the game away,” he concluded.
Hardik Pandya will play a crucial role for Team in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The Virat Kohli-led will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on 24th October.