Hardik Pandya vacationing abroad amid Natasa Stankovic divorce rumours, to join India T20WC squad in New York: Report | Crickit
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Hardik Pandya vacationing abroad amid Natasa Stankovic divorce rumours, to join India T20WC squad in New York: Report

May 27, 2024 06:55 PM IST

It is yet to be known when exactly Hardik Pandya will fly to New York, but the report confirms that he will be in time for India's first practice session.

Virat Kohli was not the only one not to be on that Saturday flight to New York from Mumbai that had captain Rohit Sharma along with a few other Indian players and coaching staff for the T20 World Cup, which begins from June 1 onwards in the USA and the West Indies. Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya, who incurred a horrendous IPL season, both as a leader and a player, was absent as well.

Mumbai Indians bowler Hardik Pandya during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 (PTI)
Mumbai Indians bowler Hardik Pandya during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 (PTI)

According to a report in Cricbuzz on Sunday, Hardik, who is also going through personal turmoil with rumours of divorce with wife Natasa Stankovic, is currently vacationing in an undisclosed location overseas. He had left the country after the end of Mumbai's heartbreaking campaign in IPL, where they finished bottom of the table for the second time in three years. The report, however, added that the all-rounder, who will serve as Rohit's deputy in the impending ICC tournament, would be joining the Indian team directly in New York for the T20 World Cup.

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It is yet to be known when exactly Hardik will fly to New York, but the report confirms that he will be in time for India's first practice session.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the players—Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Avesh Khan—all of whom were part of the Qualifier 2 tie against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 25 in Chennai—will leave for New York later, along with Kolkata Knight Riders' Rinku Singh, who played the IPL final on Sunday.

ALSO READ: Gautam Gambhir meets Jay Shah as lengthy chat after KKR's win in IPL final sparks speculation of India head coach job

The rest of the squad, which includes Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and substitutes Shubman Gill and Khaleel Ahmed, left on Saturday night and already reached New York on Sunday evening.

According to a report in Indian Express on Sunday, Kohli was not part of the flight as he sought permission from the BCCI to extend his period of break post Royal Challengers Bengaluru's exit in the Eliminator match of IPL 2024 last week. The former India captain, however, won the Orange Cap after scoring 741 runs in 15 matches at an average of 61.75 and a strike rate in excess of 154. The run tally includes a hundred and five fifties. This was the second time he won the award for becoming the leading run-getter in an IPL season. In 2016, he had scored a record 973 runs to claim the award for the first time.

Team India, the winner of the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup way back in 2007 in South Africa, will begin their campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the newly constructed Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, before taking on Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue. This will be followed by matches against co-hosts USA (June 12) and Canada (June 15) as part of their Group-A ties.

Ahead of their campaign opener, India will play a warm-up game in New York against Bangladesh on June 1.

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