Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya had to endure the toughest period in his career after he was appointed as the captain of the Mumbai Indians replacing veteran batsman Rohit Sharma in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

The aggressive all-rounder incurred brutal treatment from the crowd at each of the venues during the IPL 2024 season amid a forgettable form both with the bat and ball. Moreover, off the field, speculations are rife about his divorce with wife Natasa Stankovic.

Ahead of the start of India's T20 World Cup warm-up game against Bangladesh in New York, Hardik on Saturday opened up on the bitter IPL season, where he was also criticised for his captaincy.

Though Hardik acknowledged the 'difficult times' he incurred over the last few months, he said that he 'won't run away from it' and will keep fighting hard.

"Eventually, I believe, you have to stay in the battle. Sometimes life puts you in situations where things are tough, but I believe that if you leave the game or the field, the battle that is, you won't get what you want from your sport, or the results you are looking for," said Hardik.

"Oh, yeah, it has been difficult, but at the same time, I have been process-driven, I have tried to follow the same routines I used to follow earlier. At the same time these things happen; there are good times and bad times, these are phases that come and go. That is fine. I have gone through these phases many times and I will come out of it as well," he added.

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