'I am someone who plays the game with love, passion and loves challenges. In three and a half years, I have been preparing for this so time has come,' Haridk Pandya said ahead of India's ICC World Cup 2019 match against New Zealand
Nottingham: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya wants to hold the ICC World Cup 2019 trophy on July 14 and that is the only thing “important”. He said he wants to win the silverware at Lord’s and revealed that there is no pressure while playing the biggest tournament in cricket.
“On 14 July, I want to have a cup in my hand. That’s the only thing which is important for me. Even when I think of it, it gives me goosebumps. My plan is simple, to win the World Cup back. I am hoping that and I expect that for myself. No pressure, because only 1.5 billion people are expecting that,” Pandya said in a video interview to the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of India’s game against New Zealand in Nottingham.
The 25-year-old is one of the key members of the Virat Kohli-led side in England and Wales. He has already proved his worth as a big-hitting batsman. He hit a 27-ball 48, batting at number four against Australia, which earned the praise of former World Cup winning captain Steve Waugh.
“I am someone who plays the game with love, passion and loves challenges. In three and a half years, I have been preparing for this so time has come,” Pandya said.
Pandya recalled how he and his friends celebrated when India won the 2011 World Cup at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
“Few days back, my friend sent me a picture asking if I remembered. He had clicked a picture of us celebrating after India winning the World Cup in 2011. And we were on the streets because it was a festival. I had never seen so many people out in one night.
“It actually made me so happy that eight years down the line, playing the World Cup in 2019. It’s been a dream. My teammates are my brothers,” Pandya, who has so far played 11 Tests, 47 ODIs and 38 T20Is, said.
" 🇮🇳 means everything to me. This is my life."— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 13, 2019
"I am a happy soul no matter what happens"
"On 14th July I want to have the 🏆 in my hand"
How will #TeamIndia's rockstar Hardik Pandya fare in #CWC19 today? pic.twitter.com/kTZNoY2IlN
In the same interview, Ravindra Jadeja praised Pandya and said he is a “rockstar”. It was Australian spin legend Shane Warne who had given the moniker “rockstar” to Jadeja during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and now the left-hander has transferred the same to his team-mate.
“He’s always very chill, enjoying his game, doesn’t take pressure on himself. He’s kind of rockstar. He’s truly a game changer for us,” Jadeja said.
Last Updated 3:13 PM IST