“I want Hardik Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad,” says Aakash Chopra as MI set to begin IPL 2024 campaign against GT

Hardik Pandya has replaced Rohit Sharma as MI captain for the IPL 2024 season.

Hardik Pandya | Mumbai Indians/InstagramHardik Pandya's first assignment as the captain of Mumbai Indians (MI) will see the all-rounder locking horns with his former side Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad on March 24.

Hardik was traded during the off-season from GT to MI for a hefty sum of INR 15 Crore, with Shubman Gill taking over as the skipper of GT.

The match will be held at the gigantic Narendra Modi stadium, where Hardik created a lot of memories in the last two editions.

Notably, Hardik Pandya started his IPL career at Mumbai Indians in 2015 and played for them until 2021, winning a total of four titles in seven seasons. Ahead of the 2022 mega-auction, MI let him go as they could retain only a few players.

After his release, the all-rounder was signed by the new Gujarat franchise, whom he led to a title win in 2022 and a runner-up finish last year.

Hence, there is a lot of anticipation around the GT versus MI clash in the IPL 2024 season. Since the two teams will begin their campaigns against each other, expect emotions to run high.

In fact, former India opener Aakash Chopra wants the Ahmedabad crowd to boo Hardik when he walks out for the toss.

Chopra also cited the example of former KKR pacer Ajit Agarkar, who was booed by the Mumbai crowd in the inaugural IPL season.

"I want Hardik Pandya to get booed in Ahmedabad. I'll tell you why. First IPL season, Mumbai vs Kolkata. We were playing at the Wankhede Stadium. Ajit Agarkar was in our team and we had to take him off the boundary because he was Mumbai's boy, playing against Mumbai, in Mumbai and getting booed by the Wankhede crowd. So we put him back inside the circle because it was not nice," Chopra said on Jio Cinema during the IPL 2024 schedule announcement on Thursday (February 22).

"Now Hardik Pandya goes to Mumbai after winning the championship once, leading the team to the final the next time. And not just that but choosing to leave the franchise. If there isn't any heartburn in the public of Ahmedabad, if they don't feel hurt, where is the fun? I am expecting. No, I am hoping – don't tell anyone – that Hardik goes for the toss and people go 'Boo'. That's where the league matures," he added.

The IPL 2024 season is slated to get underway with the Chennai Super Kings versus Royal Challengers Bangalore clash at Chepauk on March 22.


By Salman Anjum - 22 Feb, 2024

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