'Want Hardik Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad' - Former Indian cricketer makes controversial statement after IPL 2024 schedule announcement

Hardik Pandya was traded to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans before the IPL 2024 auction.

Hardik Pandya was traded to Mumbai Indians?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Hardik Pandya will lead Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 while Rohit Sharma will play purely as a batter.

Ever since Hardik Pandya has left his former side Gujarat Titans, many cricket pundits have given their personal opinions on the decision. Hardik started his IPL career at Mumbai Indians at 2015 and played a big part in the franchise’s four title wins (in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020). But before the IPL 2022 auction, MI did not retain him and he was signed by the new franchise Gujarat Titans to be their captain.

Under Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans won the title in IPL 2022 and finished as runners-up in IPL 2023. But before the IPL 2024 auction, Hardik was traded to Mumbai Indians for a sum of INR 15 crore. It was believed that Pandya wanted to go back to his first IPL franchise.

Aakash Chopra makes a controversial statement on Hardik Pandya

During the IPL 2024 announcement on Jio Cinema, Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener, said that he wanted Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad and gave a reason for it as well.

"I want Hardik Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad. I'll tell you why. First IPL season, Mumbai vs Kolkata. We were playing at the Wankhede Stadium. Ajit Agarkar was in our team and we had to take him off the boundary because he was Mumbai's boy, playing against Mumbai, in Mumbai and getting booed by the Wankhede crowd. So we put him back inside the circle because it was not nice," Chopra said.

"Now Hardik Pandya goes to Mumbai after winning the championship once, leading the team to the final the next time. And not just that but choosing to leave the franchise. If there isn't any heartburn in the public of Ahmedabad, if they don't feel hurt, where is the fun? I am expecting. No, I am hoping – don't tell anyone – that Hardik goes for the toss and people go 'Boo'. That's where the league matures," Chopra added during the show.

Such remarks by a renowned commentator have come as a surprise. Chopra is also expected to be among the panel of commentators at IPL 2024.

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Hardik Pandya will be Mumbai Indians captain for this season. The franchise termed it as a transition period and announced that Rohit Sharma will play purely as a batter and Hardik will lead the side.