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Rise of the Unlikely Villain: Hardik Pandya

The negativity that he didn't wanted.

24 Apr '24
3 min read


Hardik Pandya could scarcely have foreseen that he would emerge as the focal point of attention in this iteration of the Indian Premier League, albeit for all the wrong reasons. The multifaceted cricketer found himself under the scrutiny of fans even prior to the commencement of IPL 2024. Yet, what catalyzed this shift, rendering Hardik Pandya a nexus of disquietude for all?

The genesis of this turmoil traces back to when Hardik was relinquished by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2022 auctions, only to be acquired by the nascent franchise, Gujarat Titans, where he assumed the mantle of leadership. Under his stewardship, the Titans ascended to the zenith, clinching their inaugural IPL trophy that very season. This triumph persisted into the subsequent year, with the Titans securing a berth in the finals, albeit succumbing to the formidable Chennai Super Kings. Amidst this seemingly idyllic trajectory, conjecture began to circulate suggesting negotiations between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans regarding Hardik's potential reacquisition through the retention window. Nevertheless, neither franchise proffered any official affirmation.

Rumors resurfaced with renewed vigor following Cameron Green's transfer to Royal Challengers Bangalore, bequeathing a considerable purse of 15 crore to the Mumbai Indians. Subsequently, in December of the preceding year, Mumbai Indians officially anointed Hardik as their captain for the forthcoming IPL season. However, this announcement elicited a discordant chorus of disapproval from fans, evidenced by the proliferation of #UnfollowMI and myriad analogous hashtags trending across social media platforms. The unilateral displacement of Rohit Sharma from captaincy, coupled with the apparent orchestration of Hardik's return to Mumbai Indians to assume leadership, sowed seeds of disillusionment among the fanbase. Pertinent inquiries during press conferences pertaining to this regime alteration were met with a resounding silence from both Mark Boucher and Hardik, thereby stoking the embers of discontent.

Subsequent developments on the field, marked by perceived mismanagement and on-field discord, only served to exacerbate the prevailing sense of disenchantment. As Mumbai Indians languished at the bottom of the points table, having suffered three consecutive defeats, clamorous demands resurfaced on social media for the reinstatement of Rohit Sharma as captain. The acrimonious reception meted out to Hardik during the toss at the Ahmedabad stadium bore testament to the magnitude of fan disillusionment.

Amidst this maelstrom of discontent, erstwhile luminaries of the sport emerged as voices of solidarity, drawing parallels between Pandya's transition and Chennai Super Kings' analogous captaincy shuffle involving the venerable Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While attributing culpability solely to Pandya may be facile, given the implicit consent of management bolstered by his commendable track record over the preceding seasons, the ultimate onus rests with higher echelons of authority.

One fervently hopes for the eventual reconciliation of fans with Hardik Pandya's ascendancy to captaincy, acknowledging his prior exploits that have brought glory to the nation during pivotal junctures in international encounters. 

Category : Sports


Written by Uzair Qazi