IPL 2024: Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya booed by home fans at Wankhede Stadium

Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya’s troubles with the fans continued on Monday with the home fans booing the newly appointed captain during the pre-game training and toss ahead of their match against Rajasthan Royals in Match 14 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.

Hardik, who was appointed Mumbai Indians skipper in an abrupt decision by the franchise in place of fan-favourite Rohit Sharma who has led the franchise to multiple IPL titles, was booed by fans at Ahmedabad in their tournament opener against Gujarat Titans. It was expected as Hardik had sensationally moved from Titans to Mumbai Indians just ahead of IPL 2024 and left the team after leading them to the title in 2022 and runner-up place in the last edition.

He was also booed by fans in Hyderabad when Mumbai Indians players SRH. Getting hooted by the opposing team’s fans in away matches is expected because of the rivalry between the franchises.

However, what came as a surprise was Hardik Pandya getting heckled by fans in what is Mumbai Indians’ den. The booing started even before the match as the players were warming up. A section of fans started chanting “Rohit, Rohit” looking at Hardik. However, when Rohit came out to meet a former teammate who is now a commentator, the fans appreciated him by changing his name.

the heckling of Pandya continued during the toss with the fans first changing Rohit Sharma’s name as the skipper walked into the middle into the middle.

They continued to express their disapproval as Pandya was talking to former India captain Sanjay Manjrekar. Manjrekar asked the crowd for a round of applause for the captains and when the fans booed, he asked them to behave.

The booing started as Manjrekar asked Pandya about it being the 250th match for Mumbai Indians and it only stopped when Pandya said the franchise appreciated the fans.

Pandya maintained his cool and continued to talk even as the booing continued. Though he maintained a poker face, it was clear that the Mumbai Indians captain was not happy with the way he was being treated by the fans for a decision taken by the franchise. Though there have been claims that Pandya joined the team only after he was promised the captaincy, the franchise has claimed the decision was taken with the future in mind.

There were reports before Monday’s match against Rajasthan Royals that Pandya could be booed at the Wankhede and that the franchise has asked the security personnel to take action against such behaviour, the Mumbai Cricket Association has denied such reports and said they will follow the BCCI protocols when it comes to crowd control inside the stadium.

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