Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 | Last Update : 12:45 AM IST
Cricketer Hardik Pandya’s larger-than-life appeal is getting him many female admirers. Let’s hope this won’t disturb his game.
Cricketers in India are much more than just sports stars. They enjoy a popularity that is almost on par with that of Bollywood celebrities. There is also a lot of hype surrounding their looks and style statement and so, they’re at the receiving end of a lot of female attention too! The latest cricketer to join the bandwagon is the young lad from Baroda — Hardik Pandya. After performing exceptionally well in the past few series, it seems like this cricketer is getting popular with the ladies.
Recently, after a brilliant game against Australia, the 23-year-old’s explosive knock garnered a lot of plaudit on social media, including appreciation from TV host and model Shibani Dandekar. The duo exchanged a flattering conversation on Twitter, with Shibani lauding the all-rounder. “@hardikpandya7 you are gangsta (sic),” Shibani tweeted, to which Hardik replied, “Hahaa thank you shiiiiiii (sic).” Shibani, who shares a good bond with many cricketers, then replied, “muaaah beast mode (sic).” Many fans of Hardik also replied to the tweets.
Talking about how the family is dealing with this attention, Hardik’s father, Himanshu Pandya, says, “I’m not aware of why my son is getting female attention. Maybe it’s due to his playing style and role in Indian cricket. But we don’t have any issue, let him enjoy his life.” When asked about Hardik’s latest exchange of tweets with Shibani, Himanshu says, “This happens with all cricketers. When they come in the limelight, they get attention from all quarters.”
The doting father believes that Hardik knows his responsibilities well. “He is mentally strong and his game will not be affected due to the sudden female attention he is getting. He hit three consecutive sixes recently. This was the fourth occasion. We are waiting for the day when he hits six sixes in an over. That day will not be far off,” he adds.
Recently, there were also rumours about Hardik dating actress Parineeti Chopra. It all started with Pari posting a picture of a bicycle, captioning it, “The perfect trip with the most amazing partner.. Love is in the air!!! (sic).” As fans started guessing who the partner could be, Hardik also jumped in and tweeted, “Can I guess? I think this is a second Bollywood & Cricket link. :p Great click by the way (sic),” to which Parineeti replied, “Hahaha. Maybe. Maybe not. All I can say is that the clue is in the pic itself!!! (sic)”
Hardik doesn’t mind being called the rockstar of Team India, but dismisses the talk that his flamboyant attitude could come as a distraction. “I’m the same Hardik I was a year ago. I don’t think anything has changed for me. Perhaps I am a bit calmer than last year. Maybe people’s thinking has changed,” he said after Sunday’s match against Australia in Chennai.
In a recent interview, coach Ravi Shastri said about Hardik and K.L. Rahul, “This is the modern generation. I want them to do whatever they want to do off the field. Once they are on the field, they should focus on cricket and on their work ethics,” Shastri had said.
Hardik shares a great rapport with Virat Kohli and sometimes, it makes one wonder whether he is trying to copy Kohli’s success model. As Kohli suggests, it shouldn’t concern people as to how Hardik leads his life outside the cricket field. “A lot of people focus on a lot of other things about Hardik, which I don’t think should be anyone else’s problem. He has his own journey and he is finding his own way,” Kohli had said.
With his game at its best and all the attention, it seems like Hardik is indeed on a roll.