Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya, who returned to cricketing action after undergoing surgery, impressed with his performance but sparked a fresh new controversy by sporting a Team India helmet. Pandya, who scored 38 runs and picked up three wickets for Reliance 1, could be penalised or warned by the national cricket board due to his action.

The national cricket board, had in 2014, asked match referees to ensure none of the Indian cricketers sport the BCCI logo while featuring in a domestic match as it will be considered a violation of the association’s code.

In fact, the clothing regulations clearly say that you have to tape the BCCI logo if you plan to use the same helmet in domestic matches as the one you wear while playing for India.

“The rule has been there from the start of the season but has only been implemented in all earnestness during the recently-concluded Deodhar Trophy final between West Zone and East Zone,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI in 2014. 

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya uses Team India helmet in DY Patil T20 cup match. (Photo: Twitter)

MSK Prasad monitored Hardik Pandya closely

MSK Prasad, MS Dhoni, 2019 World Cup
MSK Prasad talks about the future of MS Dhoni. Image Courtesy: Getty

Out-of-action since the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against South Africa, Hardik Pandya’s fitness level was closely monitored by outgoing chief selector MSK Prasad from the stands.

Prasad was convinced with Pandya’s performance as he said, it was good to see him steaming in. The all-rounder looked out of touch in the T20 series against South Africa, where he managed to score only 14 runs in two matches and scalped two wickets.

Mumbai Indians staff watched Hardik Pandya play

Hardik Pandya, Shane Bond, Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 2020
Hardik Pandya. Credits: BCCI

Hardik Pandya rose to glory with his prolific performance for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has, since then, been a mainstay for the Mumbai franchise in the lucrative tournament.

Mumbai Indians support staff, including the likes of Pravin Amre, Kiran More, Zaheer Khan, TA Sekar and Robin Singh, monitored Pandya’s fitness closely.

He might be seen in action during the opening match of the lucrative tournament between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on March 29.

In the year of T20 World Cup, fit-again Pandya will look to maintain his fitness level, as he will be a key for Team India in the marquee tournament.

Pandya, 26, averages 16.31 in the shortest format of the game. He has scored 310 runs from 25 matches in the format and yet to score a half-century.

He has been crucial with the ball for India, picking up 38 wickets from 40 matches, with the best bowling figures of 4/38. He has an economy rate of 8.35 in this format of the game.