“When I left, I told the team ‘5 din me aa raha hu’: Hardik Pandya recounts painful injury ordeal in 2023 World Cup | Cricket

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

Hardik Pandya injured during India-Bangladesh World Cup 2023 match (ICC Twitter)

In an interaction with Star sports, Panda opened up publicly immediately after his injury during the World Cup match. The all-rounder, in an attempt to stop a Litton Das forehand off his own bowling, injured his ankle and immediately left the field. He was eventually ruled out of the World Cup as India faced a defeat in the tournament final against Australia.

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Pandya revealed that the initial assessment suggested he would be out for 25 days; the all-rounder, in a bid to get back into shape before the end of the World Cup, pushed his body to the extreme.

“I don’t start preparing for a tournament 2-3 months in advance. Preparation for the World Cup started a year ago. I planned my routines. It was a weird injury. Very few people know that my injury was prolonged because when I got injured it was only supposed to last 25 days. But I pushed. I said to myself, “I’m 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 had injections on my ankles in three different places, I had to get blood out of my ankle because the swelling had gotten so bad. In a way, I didn’t want to give up. At one point, I knew that if I kept pushing, I might be out for a long time. If there was a 1 percent chance of making the team, I would do it.

The all-rounder further said that he aggravated his injury because he wanted to participate in the World Cup. Pandya ultimately 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 even tried to run. I was on painkillers, trying to come back. My greatest pride is playing for my country, and the World Cup at home was my baby. I missed that, and it’s something that’s going to be heavy on the heart,” Pandya said.

Return to MI as captain

Hardik Pandya has made a comeback to Mumbai Indians and will captain the team on their ‘homecoming’ as they take on former team Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on March 24.

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

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