Hardik Pandya reveals how airport staff spoilt his surprise visit to Ranchi on MS Dhoni’s 39th birthday
Hardik, along with elder brother Krunal, decided to fly to Ranchi last year on Dhoni’s special occasion.
Updated - Oct 18, 2021 1:58 pm
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya revealed that his surprise visit to MS Dhoni on his 39th birthday was spoilt by the airport staff. Hardik’s affection for Dhoni, who he terms his “darling” and a “life coach”, is well known. Therefore, he, along with elder brother Krunal, decided to fly to Ranchi last year on Dhoni’s special occasion, although only for the surprise plan to be spoilt.
In a recent interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Hardik, on being asked whether Dhoni was surprised by his sudden visit or not, said: “No! Because [someone from the airport staff] called him, saying Hardik and Krunal are coming. So my surprise got spoiled. Before I took off, he is like: “Are you coming here?” I said: “How did you know?” He said: “These charter people told me you’re coming. Chal, theek hai, aaja [All right, come over].
“I go there and find him gardening. I asked how his body was and he said his knee hurt a little. I asked why. He says, “I repaired about 50 bikes, and I needed to kneel and squat for it. Now I do it standing up,” he added.
Mahi bhai is a darling: Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya, who was recently active in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians, also revealed what kind of a bond he shares with Dhoni. “Mahi Bhai is a darling. There are a lot of things I am allowed [with him], which no one else is. We connect well. Maybe he likes the fact that I never treat him like MS Dhoni. And he understands where I come from. He is like, Okay, yeh kar raha hai toh kuch soch ke kar raha hai [If Hardik is doing something, it’s only after he has considered it] type.”
Dhoni recently led his IPL team Chennai Super Kings to their fourth title, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the decisive clash. The 40-year-old is set to mentor the Virat Kohli-led Indian team during the T20 World Cup 2021, which went underway on October 17 in Oman. Notably, Hardik is one of the members of the 15-member squad named by the BCCI for the multi-team event, where India will start their campaign on October 24 against Pakistan.