Hardik Pandya voices out his struggles and hardships
"Like I said, it’s a dream."
Updated - Jan 6, 2019 6:07 pm
Back on January 26, 2016, Hardik Pandya got his first taste of international cricket when India played Australia in a T20I at the Adelaide Oval. Thereafter, the youngster didn’t look back and carved a reputation as one of the best all-rounders India have ever produced. In the same year, he made his ODI debut against New Zealand and then in July 2017, he forayed into Test cricket as well.
He also plays for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the prestigious and cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). However, after making his first-class debut for Baroda back in November 2013, Hardik didn’t have the best of times. Financial hardships and an ailing father, Himanshu Pandya, added to his problems, so much so that he couldn’t even have thought about representing India at the highest level.
“It wasn’t much more than three years ago that Krunal and I were getting calls from bank collectors in Baroda, knowing we didn’t have enough money to pay them. We were young, not earning much and our father was recovering from multiple heart attacks. It was tough,” Hardik wrote in his column for www.playersvoice.com.au.
“If someone back then had said to me, ‘Hardik, by the end of 2018 you will have been playing for India and the Mumbai Indians for quite some time, you will have this much money, you will have been able to look after your parents and people will love you,’ I would’ve been like, ‘Are you mad? This can’t happen! Don’t pull my leg’,” he remarked.
It’s not about getting sympathy
Earlier in October last year, Krunal Pandya, Hardik’s elder brother, who is also a part of the Mumbai-based franchise in the IPL, made his international debut in a T20I against Windies at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The 25-year-old Hardik from Choryasi, Gujarat, also mentioned that he and his brother don’t believe in gaining sympathy from people and rather believe in setting examples for youngsters.
“And yet it has happened. Like I said, it’s a dream. There are parts of my story I haven’t shared publicly before. It’s not about getting sympathy – Krunal and I never took that from anyone growing up – but rather an opportunity to show young people there is more than one path to achieving your goals. We are proof of that,” Hardik added.