Two years ago, Hardik Pandya had a brief moment of being portrayed as a villain (along with KL Rahul) after his sexist remarks aired on one of the episodes in Karan Johar’s talk show Koffee with Karan. Earlier this week, however, that history was overwritten as the all-rounder won the hearts of many Indian and Sri Lankan fans.
The 27-year-old Indian all-rounder was seen on TV singing Sri Lanka’s National Anthem just before the first T-20I match against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Without delay, the video showing the cricketer singing the national anthem went viral on social media.
Fans and cricket followers have been appreciating Pandya for being such a sport. K. Balakumar, former editor of News Today, wrote, “Hardik Pandya trying to lip sync to the Sri Lankan anthem is priceless.”
Among the reactions his video got online was from a Sri Lankan fan, Udara Gunasinghe. Tagging Hardik Pandya, the fan wrote, “First time I’ve seen a player singing the opponents [sic] anthem, nice gesture by@hardikpandya7.” Another prominent Sri Lankan who appreciated Pandya’s spirit was Brian Thomas, former media manager of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board and a well-known dubbing producer. “The beautiful melody in our National Anthem was evident when Hardik hummed it. I feel proud and emotional.”
Sparing a thought
Then just as he’d made a mark on fans and followers of the sport, he was once again commended for his sportsmanship spirit by his opponents after he gave one of his spare bats to Chamika Karunaratne.
“Absolutely honoured to have received a bat from my role model on my T-20I debut. You are an amazing human being and I am touched by your thoughtful gesture. I will never forget this day. May God bless you always,” the all rounder said.