Updated May 18th, 2024 at 15:06 IST

'Felt sorry': MI coach offers his perspective on Hardik Pandya facing a hostile crowd in IPL 2024

MI coach Mark Boucher reveals how bad it felt when he saw skipper Hardik Pandya facing a negative atmosphere throughout the IPL 2024 season.

Hardik Pandya | Image: AP
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The IPL 2024 season was undeniably tough for Hardik Pandya. The return to his boyhood IPL franchise did not go out as planned as he had to deal with the wrath of the audience as he unceremoniously took over Rohit Sharma as the franchise skipper. Additionally, MI had a forgettable run this year after they landed at the last of the points table, and even though it has happened before, the fans have held Pandya as the main reason for the team's steep downfall this season. It was unfortunate to see the star all-rounder go through such a vociferous environment, and the coach of the franchise has offered his opinion on the situation.

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Mark Boucher is sorrowful over Hardik Pandya facing a negative atmosphere throughout IPL 2024 

Mumbai Indians coach Mark Boucher acknowledged that it was painful for the team's captain, Hardik Pandya, to endure taunts and jeers from the crowd throughout the dreadful IPL season.  A horde of supporters took issue with Hardik Pandya's choice to replace five-time champion skipper Rohit Sharma as Mumbai Indians captain following two fruitful seasons as captain of the Gujarat Titans. MI coach Boucher believed that his judgement was clouded by the lacklustre performances and outside pressure, and added that the management will need to address this in the coming days.

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“It wasn't great hearing all the boos. I felt sorry for Hardik as well. It's never nice to have to go through something like that. I do think that there are certain things that did affect individuals, which ultimately did affect the team.

India's Hardik Pandya during the IPL 2024 match between the Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede Stadium | Image: BCCI
  

“There's a lot of stuff going on around him that, maybe, clouded his thoughts every now and again, which is tough for him as a leader as well. He certainly had a lot of support within our dressing room as well and guys trying to help him out as well. But it's a tough thing to go through as a player,” Boucher said after MI were defeated in their last league game to Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs.

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Boucher supported Pandya's retention as MI captain despite the lacklustre campaign this year, stating that while a detailed analysis of the team's appalling performance would be evaluated, no hasty decisions needed to be made.

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“We haven't had discussions. Everything's been about the cricket stuff at the moment. Going forward, I'm sure that he is the guy that the franchise would like to take forward. We'll wait and see. We'll have these conversations at a later stage,” he said.

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Published May 18th, 2024 at 14:36 IST