Hardik Pandya: ‘I am someone who plays the game with love and passion’

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Nottingham, June 13 (IANS) Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has expressed his desire of winning the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales and lifting the coveted trophy at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London on July 14.

In an interview to the International Cricket Council (ICC), Pandya shared his feelings while representing the country at the prestigious quadrennial event, saying that playing for India is his “life” and it “means everything” to him.

“(Playing for) India means everything to me, this is my life. I am someone who plays the game with love and passion and loves challenges. For two-three years, I have been preparing for this (World Cup) so the time has come,” Pandya told ICC.

He also said he still remembers the night when India won the World Cup in 2011 after the Men in Blue defeated Sri Lanka in the finals on April 2 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Chasing 275, Gautam Gambhir and M.S. Dhoni had played brilliant knocks with the then captain finishing off in style, hitting a six over long on off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara.

“On July 14, I want the Cup in my hand. Even when I think of it (2011 win), it gives me goosebumps. Playing the World Cup 2019 has been a dream and my teammates are my brothers. My plan now is simple: win the World Cup, and I’m hoping that and I expect that from myself,” said Pandya.

The 25-year-old also jokingly said that there was no pressure on the team as only “1.5 billion” people are expecting the Men in Blue to win the World Cup for the third time.

“No pressure because only maybe 1.5 billion people are expecting that, so no pressure at all,” Pandya said.

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