IPL 2024: Brian Lara’s Blunt “Play For India Remark” As Hardik Pandya Gets Booed In Ahmedabad


Hardik Pandya was booed in Ahmedabad© BCCI/Sportzpix

Mumbai Indians' new captain Hardik Pandya had a night to forget as the 5-time champions suffered a 6-run defeat against his former team Gujarat Titans on Sunday. Hardik, who is leading MI in his first match as captain, was also heckled by fans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The jeers also got the commentators talking, with former England captain Kevin Pietersen admitting that he was surprised as it was the first time he had faced such an incident involving an Indian player.

“I have never seen an Indian player being harassed the way they are harassing Hardik Pandya here in Ahmedabad. It is a rare occurrence,” he said in the commentary box.

West Indies legend Ian Bishop, who was also present in the commentary box, was surprised to hear such criticism and asked, “What can he do to win them back?”

Sports legend Brian Lara decided to answer Bishop's question and said: “Play for India…next time they play here,” causing Bishop and Pietersen to laugh out loud.

Although the match ended in a defeat for Mumbai, Hardik said it was not an issue as there were 13 more games left to be played in the league campaign. Pandya said, “Obviously we back ourselves to chase those 42 runs (in the last five overs), but it was one of those days where we saw the score quite low in those last five overs, we Lost a little momentum there.” Presentation ceremony after the match.

“It's good to be back because it's a stadium where you can enjoy yourself and feel the atmosphere quite alive and obviously the crowd was packed and they got a good game as well.” When asked about Verma's refusal to take a single run, the captain said, “I think at that time Tilak felt it was a better idea. I fully support him. No issue No, (we have) 13 games left,” he added.

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