Hardik Pandya To Miss Afghanistan Series and IPL 2024

- Cricket - December 23, 2023
Hardik Pandya To Miss Afghanistan Series and IPL 2024
Hardik Pandya To Miss Afghanistan Series and IPL 2024

A major setback for Team India and Mumbai Indians, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to miss the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan and the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 due to his ankle injury.

Pandya, who was traded from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians in an all-cash deal worth ₹15 crore, was also appointed as the captain of the defending champions for the next edition of the IPL. However, sources have revealed that Pandya’s injury is more serious than initially thought and he might have to undergo surgery to fix the issue.

Pandya had sustained the injury during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in October, while fielding on his own bowling against Bangladesh. He was advised rest by the BCCI medical team and was expected to join the team for the England series in Lucknow. However, he failed to recover in time and was ruled out of the series, which India won 2-1.

According to a report, Pandya is now doubtful for the Afghanistan series, which starts from January 3 in Ahmedabad. The report also stated that Pandya is unlikely to lead Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2024, which is scheduled to begin from March 28.

A BCCI official said that Pandya’s ankle injury is not healing as expected and he might need a surgery to correct the problem. The official also said that Pandya will have to undergo a fitness test before the Afghanistan series to assess his condition.

“If he fails the fitness test, he will have to go for a surgery, which will rule him out of the IPL 2024 as well. It is a big blow for him and the team as he is a key player in both formats. He was also looking forward to leading Mumbai Indians for the first time. We are hoping for the best, but we have to prepare for the worst,” the official said.

The official also added that Pandya’s absence will open up opportunities for other players to step up and perform in his role. He said that the team management will look for suitable replacements for Pandya in both the national and the franchise teams.

“Pandya is a unique player who can contribute with both bat and ball. He is also a brilliant fielder and a leader on the field. It is not easy to find someone who can match his skills and impact. But we have to look for alternatives and give chances to other players who have been performing well in domestic cricket and other leagues. We have to trust our bench strength and hope that they will deliver when needed,” the official said.

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