Free Press Journal

The Story of Hardik Pandya: 10 things to know about Indian Cricket’s latest sensation and finisher

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AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD

Hardik Pandya has earned fame recently for his match-finishing abilities and is hailed as the next seam bowling all-rounder Kapil Dev. Whether or not he lives up to that legacy is something which time will tell. Pandya had been on the rader of taking his domestic cricket and IPL to the international level and this year, he had a stupendous year. Today, on October 11 as turns 24, the Indian team would count themselves lucky to have a big hitter like Pandya amongst them. But his journey till here has not been easy one. At present, he may appear to be a party guy if you go by his mere looks and appearance. His lavish lifestyle, consistent presence on social media, swag, and style does give that kind of an impression. However, those who are aware of his back-story, know how grounded a person he is. A humble beginning and early life struggle had hard-wired him from inside and thus had helped him to fulfill his dream after overcoming the hardships.

In this post, we lists 10 facts about Hardik Pandya that Indian cricket fans need to know.

  1. Hardik Pandya is not from a financially strong  family. His family has struggled to afford one meal a day. Hardik was born and brought up in the Gujarat town of Baroda. His father has sacrificed a lot for his cricket career. They shifted from Surat to Bandra just for the sake of training.
  2. Former Indian cricketer Kiran Moore was very impressed when he saw the talent in 5 year old Hardik Pandya for the first time. When Pandya brothers’ father took him to Kiran Moore’s academy, they were first rejected because the minimum age for enrolment was 12 years. But, their father didn’t lose and somehow convinced Moore to take their skill test before taking any decision. When Moore test Pandya brothers’ skills, he was very impressed with their talent and willingness to work hard. That day changed the rules of Kiran Moore’s academy and boys from all age groups were allowed to train.
  3. Hardik always wanted to be a cricketer. So, to avoid any distraction, he gave up his studies after he failed in 9th standard, just to focus on becoming a better cricketer. And, he did that. Hardik is now of the best young all-rounders in the world and many believe that, if he keeps working hard, Hardik will be one of India’s biggest superstars in the coming years.
  4. Hardik used to bowl leg spin but one day, at Kiran Moore’s academy, there was a shortage of fast bowlers for a match and Moore asked him to take the responsibility. Pandya surprised one and all with his brilliant display of fast bowling. He took 7 wickets in that match.
  5. “There was no name for the tournament. It was just between villages. I would play for teams like Jhambuja XI. What was the fascination? Rs 400. My brother used to get Rs 500. For a week at least, life would be normal. There was no name for the tournament,” Hardik Pandya revealed in an interview to ESPNcricinfo.
  6. Pandya is a very flamboyant character on and off the field. He plays the game with a big smile on face and keeps things very simple. Because of thus flamboyant style and colourful attitude, he is popularly known as the ‘West Indian of Baroda’.
  7. In 2017, former India and Mumbai Indians coach John Wright scouted Pandya’s talent and picked him for the Mumbai Indians’ squad that season. And the rest, as they say, is history.
  8. In 2015, John Wright saw potential in his skills and took him on the Mumbai Indians IPL team.
  9. Kiran Moore used to call Krunal and Hardik as ‘Maggi brothers’ became they used to eat maggi to kill their hunger.
  10. During a Group C match against Delhi in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy of 2016, Hardik, playing for Baroda smashed 39 runs in an over of Akash Sudan.