Ahmedabad: Soon after lifting the IPL 2022 trophy in their maiden season, Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya said he wants to win the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for India, after the team’s dismal show in the UAE last year.
While Pandya was a member of the squad during the T20 World Cup in the UAE, he remained mostly on the bench as he was reportedly gaining full fitness following a back surgery.
“Absolutely, to win the World Cup for India no matter what happens,” said Pandya after the Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium . “I am going to give it everything I have. (I’m) Always been the kind of guy to put the team first. For me the goal will be simple: to make sure my team gets it the most.”
“Playing for India has always been a kind of dream come true, no matter how many games I have played. It has always been a pleasure for me to represent the country. The kind of love and support I have got it is only from the Indian team’s point of view.
“Long term, short term, I want to win the World Cup no matter what happens,” he stressed.
India have come close to adding a World Cup trophy in their cabinet in the half-a-decade or so but have fallen short on all occasions. During the 2016 T20 World Cup, India lost to eventual champions West Indies in the semifinal. In the 2017 Champions Trophy final, although Pandya was the highest run-getter, India succumbed to a massive defeat against Pakistan. Pandya’s smashing form in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semifinal could not get them over the line against New Zealand either.
While it is the first win for Gujarat, Hardik has won four IPL titles before this — all with Mumbai Indians.
“The four that I have won before this are equally special. Winning IPL is always special. I consider myself very lucky that I have played five finals, and have lifted the trophy five times,” Pandya said.
“Obviously this (latest win) will leave a legacy because we are a new franchise, playing for the first time, and we are champions in the first season. But the four that I have won before this were equally special.”