‘Got a letter from Mukesh sir and Nita ma’am when dad passed away’

Hardik has been associated with Mumbai Indians since 2015, his debut year in the IPL.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: IANS)

Hardik Pandya recently revealed how his Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians has stood by him in difficult times like a family. Pandya, who made his IPL debut in 2015, has been associated with the team ever since and has cemented himself as one of the mainstays of the team.

The all-rounder did not have the most impressive IPL season in 2021, as he struggled to score runs, while his lower-back injury kept him away from bowling duties. Despite that, the management persisted with him throughout the season before being knocked out on account of inferior net run rate to miss a playoff mark.

Pandya is also one of the members of India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup, where the team will begin its campaign against Pakistan on October 24.

Meanwhile, in a recent interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Pandya opened up on his bond with Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, the owner of the Mumbai-based franchise, and his family, including his son Aakash Ambani.

Aakash has been a tremendous friend: Hardik Pandya

“Mumbai Indians have stood by me during my lows and highs. Recently when my dad passed away (In January 2021), Krunal and I got a letter from Mukesh Sir and Nita Ma’am, giving their condolences. For us, it was very emotional. I started crying,” said Pandya.

“Aakash has been a tremendous friend. I never get the feeling that he is the owner of our team and he is our boss. He has always given me added motivation and has always supported me,” added Pandya.

It is worthy to note that the Mumbai franchise has always diligently practised their motto of “One Team, One Family”, while they have nurtured numerous players over the years and have established themselves as the most successful team in the IPL history, with five titles (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020) to their credit.

“I don’t seek attention. But I get attention because of who I am. If I go to the crease, because of the cricketer I am, they have to keep an eye on me because they know If I click, I can take the game away,” signed off Pandya.

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