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IPL 2024: Wasim Akram Defends Hardik Pandya

Wasim Akram Defends Hardik Pandya

  1. Wasim Akram defends Pandya amid IPL criticism.
  2. Hardik Pandya faces backlash for Mumbai Indians’ performance.
  3. Akram emphasizes empathy for athletes’ mental health.

Former Pakistani cricket captain, Wasim Akram, has stepped forward to defend Mumbai Indians’ skipper, Hardik Pandya, amidst the relentless criticism he has faced during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. The Mumbai Indians, a five-time IPL champion, have been struggling this season, winning only three matches so far, which has put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

Pandya, who took over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma, has borne the brunt of criticism from fans and trolls alike. His leadership has been questioned, and he has faced hostility from spectators in several stadiums. Akram, addressing the mindset of fans in the sub-continent, noted a tendency to hold onto past grievances, which hinders their support for the current skipper.

This is the problem in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. We never forget. We tell our kids that when Pandya’s kid is born, you have to remind him why he became captain 20 years ago. We don’t move on,” remarked Akram in an interview with Sportskeeda.

While expressing solidarity with Pandya, Akram also suggested that Rohit Sharma should have retained the captaincy for at least another season.

In franchise cricket, such things happen. Look at how CSK took the captaincy decision for the long run, and maybe, even they (MI) had the same idea. This was not a personal decision, but in my view, Rohit Sharma should have continued as captain for one more year. Perhaps, next year, Hardik Pandya could have been the captain,” Akram opined.

Earlier, former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa, a member of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team, shed light on Pandya’s mental health struggles due to the constant booing and criticism he has faced.

The mocking, trolling, the memes about his [Pandya] fitness. You don’t think it hurts him? It hurts him. It hurts any human being. How many people actually know the reality of it? Hardik is dealing with mental health issues, for sure,” Uthappa had stated.

Also Read: Pakistan and New Zealand set to play another series after Champions Trophy 2025

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