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‘When I left, I told the team ‘5 din me aa raha hu’: Hardik Pandya narrates painful injury ordeal during 2023 World Cup

Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the 2023 World Cup after an ankle injury during the side’s match against Bangladesh.

Hardik Pandya will make a much-awaited return to competitive cricketing action when he takes the field for the Mumbai Indians in the 2024 Indian Premier League. The Indian all-rounder had been away from action since October last year, when he faced a freak injury during the ODI World Cup match against Bangladesh.

Hardik Pandya faced an injury during India’s 2023 World Cup match against Bangladesh(ICC Twitter)

In an interaction with Star Sports, Pandya publicly opened up on the immediate aftermath of his injury in the World Cup match. The all-rounder, in a bid to stop a straight drive from Litton Das off his own bowling, injured his ankle and immediately walked off the field. He was eventually ruled out of the World Cup as India faced a defeat in the final of the tournament against Australia.

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Pandya revealed that the initial assessment suggested he would be away for 25 days; the all-rounder, in a bid to get fit before the World Cup ended, pushed his body to the limit.

“I don’t start preparations for a tournament 2-3 months before. The preparation for the World Cup began a year ago. I planned my routines. This was a freak injury. Very few people know that my injury was extended because when I got injured, it was meant to be for 25 days only. But I pushed. I was like, ‘I had come back’. When I left the team, I told them, ‘main 5 din me vaapis aa raha hu’ (I will come back in five days),” Pandya revealed.

“I got injections done on my ankles at three different places, I had to remove blood from my ankle because the swelling became that much. In a way, I didn’t want to give up. At one point, I was aware if I might keep pushing, I might be away for a long time. If there was a 1 percent chance of being with the team, I would.”

The all-rounder further said that he aggravated the injury because he wanted to play in the World Cup. Pandya eventually missed the T20I series against Australia, the white-ball leg in South Africa, as well as India’s last T20I outing against Afghanistan in January earlier this year.

“When I was pushing, I had a recurrence where my injury extended to three months. I wasn’t able to walk, but I was even trying to run. I was on painkillers, I was trying to make a comeback. The biggest pride for me is to play for the country, and the World Cup at home was my baby. I missed out on that, and it is something that is going to be heavy on the heart,” said Pandya.

Return to MI as captain

Hardik Pandya made a comeback to Mumbai Indians and will captain the side on his ‘homecoming,’ as he faces former side Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on March 24.

Interestingly, Pandya will lead Rohit Sharma at Mumbai Indians, who, in turn, could captain the all-rounder during the T20 World Cup in June later this year.


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