Hardik Pandya said it’s his dream to win the World Cup this time around, having dreamed about the moment for over three years now.
The all-rounder has emerged as one of the most important players in India’s quest for a third World Cup triumph.
“(There is) no pressure because only maybe 1.5 billion people are expecting us to win the World Cup, so no pressure at all,” Hardik said in a video posted by the ICC.
The 25-year-old said his sole objective is to win the tournament. “On July 14, I want to have the Cup in my hand, that is the only thing. Even when I think of it it gives me goosebumps. My plan is simple – win the World Cup. I am hoping that and I expect that from myself,” he said.
“Playing for India means everything to me, this is my life. I am someone who plays the game with love and passion, and I love challenges. I have been preparing for this for three-and-a-half years, so the time has come.”
Hardik said the struggles he has faced during his journey have taught him to be happy irrespective of the situation.
“I am a happy soul, I like to be happy no matter what happens in my life. My brother (Krunal) and I were talking and he just mentioned that we, as brothers, are always happy about everything. Because for us, from where we have come, everything is a bonus.”
He recalled India’s triumph in the 2011 World Cup and how he, then dreaming to one day play for the country, celebrated. “Few days ago my friend sent me a picture and asked if I remembered what it was. Of course, I remebered what that picture was about.
“He clicked the picture of us celebrating after India winning the World Cup in 2011. And we were on the street because it was a festival. I have never seen so many people out together in one night. It actually made me emotional. Eight years down the line playing the 2019 World Cup, it’s been a dream. And my teammates are my brothers,” Hardik said.
[Inputs from PTI]