Will fans be arrested if they boo Hardik Pandya at the Wankhede Stadium? Mumbai Cricket Association issues an official statement!!

Updated - 22 May 2024, 03:54 PM

Hardik Pandya - Mumbai Indians
Hardik Pandya - Mumbai Indians (Image Credits: Twitter)

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) recently dismissed rumors about deploying extra police to monitor spectators targeting Hardik Pandya. A Mumbai Cricket Association office-bearer clarified that such reports are “baseless rumors,”  according to the latest news.

Initial reports indicated that the Mumbai Cricket Association would enforce strict measures against fans harassing Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya during the IPL 2024 match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) team at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, April 1.

According to a report by Lokmat Times, the MCA ramped up security measures to protect Hardik Pandya from potential fan harassment during the IPL 2024 home match.

The report from Lokmat Marathi detailed the matter, “MCA has bolstered security and will closely monitor the crowd during the match. Anyone caught harassing or trolling Pandya will be detained and potentially ejected from the stadium. Still, police have the considerable challenge of containing Pandya’s critics among the spectators before Mumbai’s first home game against the Rajasthan Royals.”

MCA Officials Debunk Rumors Of Deploying Extra Police

A sports journalist’s tweet clarified that MCA officials debunked rumors of deploying extra police to monitor fans. The MCA office-bearer labeled these reports as “baseless rumors” and affirmed the MCA’s commitment to adhering to BCCI guidelines on crowd behavior.

Criticism towards Hardik Pandya arose when he assumed the captaincy position from Rohit Sharma in the Mumbai Indians team. Pandya was booed by fans during the Mumbai Indians’ opener against the Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The 30-year-old faced a similar crowd reaction during the Mumbai Indians’ match against SunRisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. With two consecutive losses in the IPL 2024 season, Pandya’s challenges in silencing his critics remain evident.

The Baroda-born cricketer has struggled with both bat and ball in the first two matches. He managed to score 35 runs in two matches at an average of 17.5 and a strike rate of 145.83. He secured just one wicket in seven overs at a disappointing economy rate of 10.86.

Neither Has Any Role To Play – Ravichandran Ashwin Backs Hardik Pandya

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Ravichandran Ashwin voiced his support for Hardik Pandya amidst the negativity from fans, suggesting that neither the Mumbai Indians nor the player should be blamed.

“Neither has any role to play. Neither the franchise not the player has a role to play in this at all. I think the responsibility and the onus lies 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?” he went on to add.

“I’ve said this many times. This is cricket. This is a cinema culture. I know there are things like marketing, positioning, and branding. I don’t deny it. I don’t believe in all this on my side but it’s not wrong to indulge either,” he continued.

MI aims to improve their performance against RR at the Wankhede Stadium after a lackluster start in IPL 2024. The team seeks to secure Hardik Pandya’s first win as captain in the ongoing season.

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

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