Rohit Sharma fans torn apart for booing Hardik Pandya as Ravichandran Ashwin supports MI skipper

Updated - 30 Mar 2024, 03:33 PM

Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya
Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Twitter)

Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin voiced his support for Mumbai Indians’ current captain Hardik Pandya. Ravichandran Ashwin urged an end to fan conflicts following Hardik Pandya’s reception of boos during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Hardik Pandya was traded from the Gujarat Titans to the Mumbai Indians before the IPL auction last December. The all-rounder subsequently took over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma, who led the Mumbai franchise to five titles during his tenure from 2013 to 2023.

Mark Boucher, head coach of the Mumbai Indians, clarified that the decision aims to enable Rohit to play with greater freedom after recent batting struggles. Nevertheless, some fans perceive this move as a betrayal of Rohit by the team and Hardik Pandya.

The 30-year-old is having a tough time while leading the Mumbai Indians in the ongoing season. Pandya endured criticism from both live audiences and online communities. Spectators booed him during MI’s opening match against the Titans in Ahmedabad.

Neither Has Any Role To Play – Ravichandran Ashwin

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Ravichandran Ashwin emphasized that neither the franchise nor the player bears responsibility for fan conflicts. Ashwin pointed out the absence of similar fan wars between players’ fanbases in other countries.

“Neither has any role to play. Neither the franchise nor the player has a role to play in this at all. I think the responsibility and the onus lie on the fans,” Ashwin said.

“Have you seen this happen in any other country? Have you seen Joe Root and Zak Crawley fans fight? Or have you seen Joe Root and Jos Buttler fans fight? It’s crazy. Have you seen Steve Smith and Pat Cummins fans fight in Australia? I have said this many times. This is cricket. This is a cinema culture.”

“I know there are things like marketing, positioning and branding. I do not deny it. I do not believe in all this on my side but it is not wrong to indulge either. Fan wars should never go down this ugly route. One should remember which country these players represent–our country. So then what warrants a cricketer getting booed?” Ashwin added.

Hardik Pandya’s MI To Face Rajasthan Royals On April 1

Under Pandya’s leadership, the Mumbai Indians have faced defeat in their initial two matches. The MI team experienced a narrow loss of six runs against GT in their first game and a 31-run defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the subsequent fixture.

The Baroda-born cricketer faced batting challenges in both matches in the ongoing tournament. The right-handed batter managed 11 runs off four deliveries against the Gujarat Titans, while he scored 24 runs off 20 balls against the SunRisers Hyderabad.

Currently positioned second from the bottom with a net run rate of -0.925, Hardik Pandya’s team is eager to clinch their first victory. The Mumbai franchise will face the Rajasthan Royals in their upcoming match at Wankhede Stadium on Monday, April 1.

Also read: “Hardik Pandya should block Rohit Sharma’s..”- Steve Smith’s sensational solution for Mumbai Indians

Tagged:

Hardik Pandya Indian Premier League (IPL) IPL 2024 Mumbai Indians (MI) Ravichandran Ashwin Rohit Sharma