[WATCH]: When Hardik Pandya Cried Uncontrollably After World Cup Win, Recalling Unfair Treatment Over Past Six Months

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India erupted in joy on June 29, 2024, as Anrich Nortje of South Africa misplayed the last ball, securing only a single run and sealing India’s victory in the T20 World Cup.

This triumphant moment came seven months after India’s heartbreaking loss to Australia in the ICC Men’s World Cup in Ahmedabad on November 19, 2023. For Indian cricket fans, it was a day of redemption and celebration, ending an 11-year trophy drought as Team India clinched their second T20 World Cup title by defeating South Africa in a thrilling final.

Virat Kohli’s crucial 76 runs and significant bowling contributions from Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh led to an exhilarating seven-run victory. Amid the celebrations, players wrapped themselves in the Indian flag, embraced teammates, and spoke with commentators, while Coach Rahul Dravid, marking his last assignment, was visibly moved.

However, one player who quietly savored the moment was Hardik Pandya. After enduring relentless trolling over the past six months, he finally opened up about his experiences during this challenging period.

Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya spoke candidly about the tough six months leading up to his pivotal performance in the T20 World Cup. He had remained silent throughout this period but was visibly emotional as the Men in Blue triumphed. Despite his silence, Pandya maintained his composure, which made the victory even more meaningful.

Hardik Pandya faced severe criticism from Mumbai Indians (MI) supporters and online trolls during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

He discussed this with the commentator after the game, expressing that India stayed composed and believed in their ability to win. He endured both personal and professional abuse but might have turned the game in India’s favor by taking Heinrich Klaasen’s wicket.

In a post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya said, ”

It means a lot. Very emotional, we’d been working very hard and something was not clicking. But today we got what the whole nation wanted. More special for me, how my last 6 months were, I haven’t spoken a word, things have been unfair. I knew that if I kept working hard I could shine and do what I could do. Getting an opportunity like this makes it more special. We always believed it was just about executing our plans and staying calm and letting the pressure come to them.”

He added,

“I believe in grace. A lot was said by people who don’t know even know me one percent as a person. People have spoken, no issues but I have always believed in life that you never respond with words, circumstances can respond. It is time for fans and everyone else to learn that (to be graceful). We need to find better ways to conduct yourself. I am sure the same people will be happy.”

Discussing how he endured the criticism, Pandya stated,

“To be honest, I was enjoying. Very few get these life-changing opportunities. It could have gone the other way as well today but I see it glass half full and not glass half empty.” He continued, “I was not taking pressure and focusing on my skill sets. This was a moment written in the stars.”

With the pressure mounting, India reclaimed the lead in the final over, thanks to a stellar performance by Pandya and Bumrah, securing a seven-run victory. Bumrah’s remarkable 15 wickets earned him the Player of the Tournament title. Speaking about Bumrah’s impact, Pandya said,

“Credit to Jassi (Bumrah) and the other bowlers for those last 5 overs. Knew it would not help me if I wasn’t calm, wanted to commit 100% to every ball I’ve bowled. I’ve always enjoyed the pressure. Very happy for him.”

Pandya also expressed his gratitude to outgoing coach Rahul Dravid, saying,

“He’s been a wonderful man, really enjoyed working with him, to give him a farewell like this is wonderful, have had a very good relationship with him and became friends. Very happy for all the support staff.”

Watch the video here:

Pandya returned to MI after two years with Gujarat Titans (GT), where they won the title in their inaugural season in 2022. However, he and his team faced intense criticism on social media when Rohit Sharma was named captain. Throughout the matches, Pandya was viciously trolled both in stadiums and online.